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Proof that I live in a civilized country


I came down with a cold this weekend. Bleh.

So I went the pharmacy today and asked — half-joking, although you used to could — if you could still get codeine linctus without a prescription. Bear in mind, you cannot buy more than 16 aspirins in this country without a pharmacist on the premises (I am not making that up; when the pharmacist goes to lunch, you can’t buy jack shit).

Well, yes, actually. You can buy this stuff. Every dose contains a healthy 14mg of codeine, and you’re allowed three doses a day plus an extra one before bed “for a good night’s sleep.”

I took one before my nap this afternoon and dreamed I was chased by a zombie. She was a fast zombie, but only in the auditorium. To stop her, I had to fill my mouth with blue bath salts (don’t swallow!), skip around the auditorium and blow it into her face, while my friends laughed and clapped.

I’m going to think long and hard before I take a bedtime dose.

Also, it tastes like horse ointment. Vile. Must be the chloroform(!).

Truth is, I don’t really have the cough yet. I just really, really like opiates.


Comment from mojo
Time: October 19, 2015, 6:54 pm

On the analgesic opioids, eh? If you get up to Oxycodone, start worrying.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 19, 2015, 6:58 pm

I have a tiny supply left over from a dental procedure ten years ago. It’s probably gone off, but I feel better for knowing it’s there in the medicine cabinet.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: October 19, 2015, 8:09 pm

Years ago, I tried to buy two “boxes” of aspirin in Berlin. I had a sore throat and an ear ache and sore feet. They treated me like a heroin addict and would only sell me one.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 19, 2015, 10:22 pm

I had a similar problem, Ric, but in the UK. I hadn’t been near a pharamcist for months and decided to stock-up on (perfectly legal) analgesics. One more word and I reckon I’d have had a SWAT team waiting for me outside of Boots. The arseholes.

Comment from Nina
Time: October 19, 2015, 10:26 pm

I’ll know to bring black market aspirin with me next time I visit, then!

Comment from Carl
Time: October 20, 2015, 12:05 am

In the UK you can only buy 2 packs of 16 aspirins in any one transaction. However, in supermarkets they will quite happily let you buy 2 more packs if you come back a couple of minutes later or if you go to an adjacent checkout.

Comment from Nina
Time: October 20, 2015, 2:08 am

I don’t actually take aspirin very often, but it seems weird to not be able to buy it as you like.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: October 20, 2015, 3:08 am

OK, if I tilt my head just right, squint a bit, and drink enough cheap vodka to anesthetize a moose, I can see the point behind regulating opioids. But what the heck is behind the strict controls on acetylsalacylic acid? Do they regulate willow trees, or is the acetyl group that important? Or is it just a matter of the white-coated Lords letting the subjects know their place?

Comment from bad weasel, posting from work
Time: October 20, 2015, 8:40 am

I don’t know if it still goes on, Jeff, but some years ago, there was a spate of emo yoof trying to top themselves by OD’ing on aspirin (not very successfully) and paracetamol (somewhat more successfully). For a while, any time you bought any quantity of either, you were given a stern lecture (and there are still controls on the total amount you can buy in one go).

I used to delight in telling them about the 500 and 1,000 pill bottles of aspirin I could buy back home.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: October 20, 2015, 9:02 am

Right, young weasel-me-lass, what’s all this I hear about you having asprins, eh? http://imageweb-cdn.magnoliasoft.net/bridgeman/supersize/lal313106.jpg

Comment from tonycc
Time: October 20, 2015, 10:36 am

From the directions:
Adults: Up to 10ml (2 teaspoonfuls) in half a small glass of water

As a ‘merican I obviously don’t understand the metric system, how much is in a small half a glass, er… half a small glass?

Comment from bad weasel, posting from work
Time: October 20, 2015, 11:42 am

ZOMG, Scott — that’s Officer Badger and Willie Weasel from the Tufty Safety Squirrel series!

Ooooo…don’t get me started! The things they did to that poor weasel…

Comment from mojo
Time: October 20, 2015, 11:59 am

half a small glass = 4 fl. ounces.

Comment from bad weasel, posting from work
Time: October 20, 2015, 12:23 pm

Willy Weasel gets into mama’s pills.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: October 20, 2015, 1:32 pm

Stoaty, I’m glad you can obtain the real stuff without an Rx.

Nice to see that medical word “pharyngitis” on a medicine. My mother the nurse taught me that (along with “I’m nauseated” means you feel like you might throw up, “I’m nauseous” means you make other people sick). It’s that durn pain in the roof of your mouth that stings when you swallow.

Some of you older Americans may recall when Vicks Formula 44 cough-‘n’-cold medicine had at least some codeine and chloroform in it. It too tasted vile — but that was preferable to hacking all night and feeling like a tiny porcupine had lodged above your palate.

Comment from mojo
Time: October 20, 2015, 2:05 pm

Nah. Robitussin. Not the weak-sister version they sell these days, REAL ‘Tussin. Half codine, it would drop a moose.

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 20, 2015, 5:05 pm

GI Gin — Terpin Hydrate Elixir with Codeine. Happily handed out like water by the military medics, and provided OTC back in my yoot. Could still get codeine at pharmacies in Texas in the ’70s, but you had to sign for it.

Nowadays, Terpin Hydrate (yes, related to turpentine) is available no more to break up mucous. And codeine… Geez. Nowadays, ask for codeine and they treat you like you were asking for sudafed.

Is pseudoephedrine (real sudafed instead of sudafed PE) in Britain available without having to sign for it?

Comment from Poindexter
Time: October 20, 2015, 7:20 pm

Heh. Back when I was in high school (late 60s/early 70s), I came down quite ill with something that gave me a painful, chest-ripping cough. Our family doctor prescribed for me a codeine-based cough syrup. I remember taking my first dose of it, standing in our kitchen, and feeling this absolutely wonderful warmth and sense of well-being fill my body. I looked at the bottle with a renewed sympathy for drug addicts everywhere. I’m not sure I ever took a second dose.

Comment from Carl
Time: October 20, 2015, 7:21 pm

Oldfert – Yesit is available OTC (as Sudafed Decongestant)in Britain. You don’t have to sign for it but you have to undergo interrogation from the pharmacist.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: October 20, 2015, 10:06 pm

That is quite the smirk Sgt Badger has

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 22, 2015, 1:53 am

Carl–Thanks. I guess not as much meth there.

Y’know, for two countries separated by a common language, we sure do have interesting variations in our respective silly laws.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: October 28, 2015, 12:18 pm

The two week period after I had my wisdom teeth out, I did a 4 credit statistics intensive, worked a night shift security job, and put in a new garden for my mommy.
What was my secret? Demerol!
If I could secure a steady supply of that stuff, I wouldn’t just be an addict, I’d wear a T-shirt that told the world!

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