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Codeine Detox

There are lots of ways to detox from heroin. To me there is nothing like Clonidine; I think it is a gift from God—right after morphine itself. But not all people respond so well to Clonidine and it never hurts to have more tools in one's detox arsenal. In this article I will look at opioid substitution with particular attention to codeine.

Drug vile and flower. Pretty much any opioid will block withdrawal symptoms. But they won't necessarily get you unaddicted to heroin. In the case of codeine, you are simply substituting because heroin breaks down into morphine (it is morphine that heroin addicts are actually addicted to) and codeine is only effective because of the small portion of it that transforms into morphine.

How Big Is Your Habit?

The main problem with using Codeine is that you have to take a lot of it to block the heroin withdrawal symptoms—usually about 20 times as much. Making matters worse, most users do not know how much heroin they use. In San Francisco, a gram of heroin goes for $40. It goes for $140 in Portland; but the purity of a gram in Portland is two times that in San Francisco. These days a good rule of thumb is that street level heroin is about one-third to one-half pure.

Another issue is that users greatly exaggerate their habits. In general, a user's habit is about one-fourth of smallest amount he uses in a day. So if an addict used between $40 and $100 of heroin per day, figure one-fourth of $40 or $10. If he lived in San Francisco, this would constitute one-fourth a gram (250 mg) at one-third purity. This would mean his habit is about 80 mg per day. Thus, he would need roughly one and a half grams of Codeine to block the withdrawal symptoms.

In order to detox, the user will need to get enough Codeine for the entire process. This issue of HEROIN helper contains an article on isolating Codeine from a more or less legal supply. The procedure is quite easy but it is probably too much for someone in withdrawal.

Daily Doses

Once the user has acquired the Codeine, it is divided into twenty-one doses. Since the user will be weening himself, the doses must go down each day. Use the table below to determine the dose for each day. The amounts are given in percentages of the first day's amount—the first day's amount is determined as discussed above.

Day Amount Day Amount Day Amount
1 100 8 40 15 8
2 90 9 35 16 7
3 80 10 30 17 6
4 70 11 25 18 5
5 60 12 20 19 4
6 50 13 15 20 3
7 45 14 10 21 2

Codeine is destroyed in the body very quickly. As a result, the person detoxing should dose himself a few times per day. So the dose for each day should be divided into (for example) thirds, and taken once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once before bed.

by Dr. H © 2002
Last Modified: 12 January 2004


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