Codeine the fashionable opiate drug among rappers

David Holt
Codeine the fashionable opiate drug among rappers

Codeine is one of those drugs that has been around for a very long time, but has only recently become fashionable. And precisely, the rappers have done it. Today, we tell you everything you need to know about codeine.


  • What exactly is codeine?
  • Side effects and contraindications
  • Recreational uses
  • Rappers and codeine

What exactly is codeine?

Codeine is an alkaloid that can be found naturally in opium. That is, unlike other opioids that we have talked about on this website, codeine is not created in a laboratory, but is found in the opium itself..

It is common to use it in medicine as an analgesic, sedative and antitussive (as you will see later, it is the presence in cough syrups that has allowed its abuse in the recreational area).

Codeine is assimilated in the liver, and when it is metabolized, it is converted to morphine. However, due to its low transformation rate, it is considered (and is) less potent and effective as an analgesic and sedative than morphine itself..

In general, codeine tends to be used to treat moderate pain, less severe than those for which morphine is required. Also, codeine is less addictive than morphine, and has fewer adverse effects..

Side effects and contraindications

Codeine, to the extent that it is a medium-strength analgesic derived from opium, can generate a dependency similar to that generated by morphine, so its consumption, in principle, should only be given under medical prescription.

Of course, insofar as it is a drug that acts on the nervous system and the brain, its potential is very high. In moderate doses it can generate a state of euphoria, but, in higher doses, it can cause a picture of respiratory depression.

Obviously, no opioid (codeine among them) should be consumed together with other depressant substances of the Central Nervous System, such as antihistamines, anxiolytics, alcohol or the different types of anesthetics that exist.

Recreational uses

Since its effects are very similar to those of opium or oral morphine, the recreational use of codeine has been going on since the moment it was discovered. However, it was in recent times, as a result of what we will see in the next section, that it has become more popular and its use has become much more common..

In low doses, codeine is hardly noticeable, although it can prevent coughing and reduce pain sensation a bit (if any).

In medium doses it generates certain dizziness and quite clear analgesia. At high doses, the effect is basically the same as with morphine, only with a ratio difference of plus or minus 10% in dose and weight.

The effects occur from half an hour after ingesting the drug and remain active for about four hours, gradually fading as you fall into a state of sleep.

This state of sleep is the most dangerous, because a picture of respiratory depression can occur while sleeping (in fact, it is the most common cause of death when consuming codeine).

As with other opiates, the consumption of a high dose of codeine, at first, is not pleasant for someone who is not used to this family of drugs. However, repetition generates a positive assessment of the effects received, which, linked to the dependence it generates, can lead to a strong addiction.

Rappers and codeine

Let's talk about rappers now, since we have mentioned them in the title. For more than a decade, it has been common to see many rappers in the southern United States consuming a drink called Syrup (syrup).

This Syrup was made by mixing certain soft drinks with cough syrup that contained codeine. And since its effects began to be observed, it became an element of southern rap culture..

Naturally, as rap from the south of the United States has grown and become more popular, the consumption of Syrup has also become more popular, both within the United States, and outside its borders (although getting those syrups with codeine was from the US was much more complicated).

As an example of regular consumers we can mention Lil Wayne (a more famous rapper a few years ago) or 21 Savage (more popular today). We can also talk about Pimp C, who was found dead in 2007 due to a high intake of codeine, which produced a Hypersomnia Syndrome.

As you can see, codeine is not just another drug. It is an especially powerful one that can have really harmful effects for those who consume it. That is why it is convenient to be very careful, know it, and know how to consume it.

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