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Oh, man, have I ever moved to the right country

Ladies and gentlemen — over the counter codeine! And it doesn’t even have that filthy Tylenol in it.

It’s behind the counter and they give you a little lecture when you ask for it, but it’s the same drill with baby aspirin (yes, really).

There’s a little opioid-shaped hole in my brain. If a medication has “euphoria” listed as a possible side effect, that’s the side effect I’m going to get good and hard.

Happiest day of my life: the day I had my wisdom teeth out. Intravenous Valium and Demerol mix. You could pour me from hand to hand like a blissed-out slinky. I wanted to go back every day for the next month and have another tooth extracted.

I don’t know where they get that “3 days use” thing, though. In my experience, it only works the first time. Then you have to wait, like, a week or ten days before it works the same again.





Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 23, 2011, 10:15 pm

Better be careful or The One will send you an absentee ballot for next year’s election.

If we’re not in civil war by then, of course…

Comment from Russ
Time: May 23, 2011, 10:26 pm

While recovering in the hospital from back surgery many years ago, my Dad was put on morphine… but didn’t know it. A few days into his stay, though, he realized he was looking forward to his medication perhaps just a bit too much, and asked his doc about it. They immediately switched him to something else.

They kept him in the hospital for 2 weeks* after that; he described how he felt after the morphine was stopped as “like being run over by a steamroller.”

Dangerous stuff, those opiates.

*By way of contrast, I had brain surgery, and they sent me home the next day.

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: May 23, 2011, 11:40 pm

I’ve had 2 ruptured disks and kidney stones.

The only time I got something really good was demerol, when I was having a bad kidney stone attack (they thought it was cancer) and gave me an IV drip. God it hurt, and I didn’t really care. At. All. Good times, good times.

But yer right, you only cop a buzz the first time, maybe twice. But I need to wait weeks if not months. I guess it’s a built in safety net.

Had a friend who died of cancer, and he had the drip with “the button”. I asked if I could have the button when he was done with it. I guess he forgot before he passed. Oh well.

It is funny though how the ole brain has receptors just for opiates. Boy, I wish we had over the counter Codeine sans acetaminophen.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 23, 2011, 11:43 pm

Weeks if not months is probably right, Uncle Monkey. I space it out real far. I obviously have the junkie chip implanted; no good to gamble with it.

I have been known to go through nasty dental procedures on Ibuprofen, just so I could hoard my better meds for a rainy day.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 24, 2011, 12:05 am

A friend of mine had a close brush with the Grim Reaper recently, winding-up in a hospital in Canuckistan, where they (just) managed to save his life.

Sadly, they didn’t bother to wean him off the morphine they had given him for the pain he was in, so he went through cold turkey in a hotel room, several thousand miles from home, watching, as he put it, Armageddon in full HD technicolor, whether his eyes were closed or not.

Still, at least it sounds like Canadian doctors might be learning something. At last. They let my Great Uncle die (literally) screaming in agony, because they refused to give him anything addictive. Despite his terminal cancer.

I don’t think The Weasel quite approves when I give vent to my opinion of the medical profession – which I consider to be a grubby trade cartel of supposed omniscients, to be trusted about as much as fashion writers (the intellectual similarity is startling) and overbearing nannies, too often these days trying to hide their ignorance with a flurry of wagging fingers.

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: May 24, 2011, 12:20 am

You can get over the counter codeine with aspirin in Canada + the lecture. I got some for a friend when I was going through Whitehorse a few years back. I can’t take codeine – it does NOTHING for pain and makes my ears ring.

Comment from Phineas Fogg
Time: May 24, 2011, 2:38 am

I must have that hole filled in! I had a freak eye injury( paper cut with a straw wrapper sliced right through it) and the doctor gave me vicodin monday and I woke up thursday!

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 24, 2011, 2:54 am

I don’t think The Weasel quite approves when I give vent to my opinion of the medical profession – which I consider to be a grubby trade cartel of supposed omniscients, to be trusted about as much as fashion writers (the intellectual similarity is startling) and overbearing nannies, too often these days trying to hide their ignorance with a flurry of wagging fingers

Totally agree…had an aunt pass away from lung cancer here in Canuckistan…after a bunch of medieval torture they basically just overdosed her on morphine. People I’ve known over the last 10 years; fathers of friends, etc…none of them came back out if they went in with something serious.

And WTF is with the prescription of anti-depressents?…there are so many people on that shit here that it’s showing up in the fish in the St Lawrence river.

Comment from Kat
Time: May 24, 2011, 3:11 am

Lucky you! My opiate receptors are broken. They do nothing for me. NOTHING. I was in labor, and they gave me Fentanyl. All it did was make me even more tired than I already was. It still hurt like, well, like I was trying to squeeze a watermelon through a grapefruit sized hole, I just didn’t have the energy to push anymore. And that is the shit junkies just about sell kidneys for, evidently. :-/ And the codenine with tylenol they gave me after my knee surgery? Yeah, I vomited for three days in a row. I had to get re-hospitalized for IV fluids and anti-nausea meds. I don’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole now; it’s Advil or nothing. How I envy people like you! 🙁

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: May 24, 2011, 3:44 am

Had Vicodin once — didn’t really do much for me. The muscle relaxer was much better.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: May 24, 2011, 5:09 am

I have very unpleasant peripheral neuropathy as a complication from diabetes. It feels like someone sticking red-hot needles in my hands and legs and feet. I take 150 mg Diclofenac + 150 mg Codeine phospate every evening. Fortunately I don’t have an addictive personality so if I go few days without it all I have is excruciating pain rather than jonesing for it and freaking out. What I really want is Oxycodone but it’s not licensed here.

Comment from Oceania
Time: May 24, 2011, 5:40 am

You can get it here with no problems … although if ever in pain again … I’m going for the opiates …
None of the synthetic stuff that really doesn’t work …

Comment from Oceania
Time: May 24, 2011, 5:44 am

Oh yeah … medical grads .. well I have a feeling that the 5th years are more interested in making money and learning how to act – read interact – with patients.

I’d be surprised of any of them can put a drip in, nor could survive a pay cut as their lifestyles have soo become acustomed to it.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 24, 2011, 9:31 am

That’s certainly true here. The last government virtually handed GPs an open cheque and now, apparently, we have some of the highest paid in the world.

Of course, the other part of the negotiation tactic with the quacks’ union was allowing them to greatly reduce the cover they had to provide for patients.

Ah, the joys of a socialist government!

Comment from some vegetable
Time: May 24, 2011, 12:37 pm

One of the things I liked about living in Panama (I was there for a couple years) was that there didn’t seem to be a prescription system. You went to a store and had a chat with the guy behind the counter and the two of you decided what would work, and Bob’s your stoner uncle.
Of course I don’t recall any mis-use of the system but then most of my time there went by in a blur so I could be wrong 🙂

Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 24, 2011, 1:02 pm

The Badger has the right of it~quackery and buffoons abound, in a garden fertilized with socialism. Not quite as bad here yet, but getting that way as more of the old timers who remember life before government mandate die off.

As for opiates, there is nothing like an opiate … which is why they’re good for the masses. One of the only things known that is 100% effective in producing physical dependency. And which the synthetics like Fentanyl were developed to prevent, which is why they work for some people, and not others. (Fentanyl is no more effective than placebo for me, although it leads to great irritability.)

Spent a decade using Dilaudid for recurrent acute pancreatitis about once a month~hydromorphone is about half a dozen times more powerful than morphine for pain relief, only twice as addictive as heroin without as much “fun” potential, and the only thing that could even touch the pancreatic pain. (Definitely a drug that’s worth taking in its intravenous form…the novelty never wears off.) I do not recommend taking an opiate antagonist like naloxone or naltrexone while any residual traces of opioids are in your system, the effect is quite sudden, and quite irreversible. And painful.

Hydromorphone does exacerbate addiction, that bizarre metabolic disorder where the brain’s survival mechanism is broken, causing it to act as though a harmful substance or activity is necessary to the survival of the addict. Which is why their behavior seems so strange, its the behavior of someone trying to survive at a very primitive level against what appears to the rest of us to be an imaginary threat.

Comment from EastAsia
Time: May 24, 2011, 1:17 pm

I share Uncle Badger’s dismal opinion of the medical trade. I especially hate how doctors will argue with me about what I am feeling. After all, I don’t have a medical degree!
Right. I have an engineering degree, and we engineers* were putting a bridge cross the Menai Straits when doctors were still sticking leeches on people.
*well, not me personally.

Comment from Wiccapundit
Time: May 24, 2011, 1:39 pm

Ah, yes, wisdom teeth removal is the gateway to Nirvana. After I had mine out on I.V. Valium and Dilaudid, I thought: “Oh, so that’s what the hippies are always blathering on about.”

Comment from ooGcM taobmaetS
Time: May 24, 2011, 6:55 pm


Loved ’em!

Don’t need ’em since I had my hip replaced with a Titanium Knob(tm) back in ’07 – but I still occasionally miss ’em a bit. Don’t miss the constipation, though.

Comment from Sporadic Small Arms Fire
Time: May 24, 2011, 6:55 pm

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now.

I shudder to think about bathtubs of vodka and bourbon I ingested for well over 25 years to … exactly what ends? Because it was easy? common?

Then something snapped like a glass rod and all the booze did not “work” anymore. Am happy to say that I progressed to mood altering devices and away from mood-altering substance.

Had only 1 (one) instance of medically prescribed pill that bent my world. Having been in extreme pain for about a day (blacking out a few times), with blood loss of about half a gallon and a presence of subcutaneously injected venom I was given a pill (upon finally meeting a non-witch doctor). Took about 1 minute to kick in. Not only there was no pain, I could not come up with a single instance of evil in the world. I could see scrolling pages of extremely well written Visual Basic. I could see 3D AutoCAD renditions of mechanisms that adjust large parabolic mirrors long way from here. I saw a small girl going through the ruins of the house and she found a VHS tape and I could see what was on the tape and it was a story of her life from that day onward and how I met her and gotten married.
(even typing this it feels like narrating a bad Dennis Hopper movie).

The medical episode took place 10 years ago and I hope it never is recreated. It really killed any curiosity I might have had up to that point about “better living through chemistry”.

Have come to realization that chemically induced buzz is NOT the way to go through life. For one thing, it wears off. Mood altering devices, on the other hand, work like a fork. You pick them up and they are ready.

If I was diagnosed with terminal condition, I’d probably try medical MJ for the first time. Maybe as a brownie, as I cannot stand smoke.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: May 24, 2011, 7:35 pm

A friend of mine (highly intelligent, though rather warped – I suspect by an ancient brush with LSD in his misspent youth) said to me that he drank for a change of state.

I think I understand exactly what he meant.

Comment from steve
Time: May 24, 2011, 8:16 pm

Weasel….You live in the land where you can also obtain, over the counter, J. Collis Browne’s Mixture.

Which is basically a peppermint flavored morphine elixer….

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: May 24, 2011, 9:18 pm

Oh God, they have sent in the clowns:



Comment from Frit
Time: May 25, 2011, 2:02 am

Codeine is a so-so drug for me. My wisdom teeth were removed under local anesthetic, all 4 in one sitting. I was given codeine to take for the pain after. Took one that night before bed, on the ‘just-in-case’ theory, and slept fine. Next day didn’t need any, and was eating solid foods by lunch. Codeine doesn’t appear to have any effect on headaches or back aches for me. Naproxen Sodium works much better, being a muscle relaxant.

Only had morphine twice; back when I had the lower left lobe of my lungs removed in ’04, they gave me a low dose of it each time they removed one of the drainage tubes from my ribcage. (I called them ‘lung leashes’.) Honestly? I can’t say I noticed any difference between before and after receiving the morphine. (On the other paw, the epidural they had me on for during and 3 days after the surgery was awesome! Didn’t feel any pain at all, but otherwise had no lack of feeling or control of my body. Good stuff, what ever they used. No psychedelic effects either.)

Best pain killer I ever had was a placebo. Yeah, I know that’s actually a variant of a sugar pill, but it worked much faster than any other orally administered pain killer – which usually takes 15-20 minutes to get into the blood stream, vs the 15-20 seconds it took for the placebo to work! And the placebo completely eradicated the pain, rather than just dulling it down to tolerable levels. I’ll take a properly administered* placebo over ‘real’ drugs any day!

(* “Properly administered” is the key to a placebo working.)

Comment from Oceania
Time: May 25, 2011, 4:49 am

Hmmm they have scripts to stop docs writing their own – or at least pretending to be monitoring their own …
48% of doctors have drug and alcohol addiction issues ….

Something to remember when you visit next … and yes dodgy docs need to be run down and run out …

Comment from Uncle Monkey
Time: May 25, 2011, 1:55 pm

@ Sporadic Small Arms Fire: …as I cannot stand smoke.

They’re called vaporizers. No “smoke”. 🙂

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: May 25, 2011, 2:24 pm

Opiates…..9 February 1992….Shattered my right hip in what the doc called an “accelerated fall” The EMT who untangled me from the ice and slid me onto a back board,had administered a good dose of morphine when he arrived and evaluated the break.


I had snorted heroin and smoked opium laced hash back in the dark ages. The heroin scared me, I liked it way too much. The opium too, was way too attractive. BUT!!! that morphine, just Dayum!

Ibu and codiene…over the counter, that is too good.

Comment from jwm
Time: May 27, 2011, 4:11 am

Some weeks back I had a code red toothache. It was Friday night, too. Luckily our dinner guest that evening brought liquid vicodin, and turned me on to half a bottle. I took more than the recommended dosage.
Tasty stuff. I’d buy it by the six pack.
Made the toothache go away for a while, too.


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