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Codeine is a prescription pain medication used to treat mild to moderate pain. It comes in tablet form and as the main ingredient in prescription-grade cough suppressants. Tylenol 3, another popular pain reliever, is codeine combined with acetaminophen.

Codeine is an opiate (sometimes called a narcotic). Other opiates include oxycodone, heroin and morphine. Street names for codeine include cough syrup, schoolboy, coties and t-three’s.

Codeine Effects and Abuse
Codeine use often starts out innocently with a prescription for a codeine-based cough syrup. Because codeine is less regulated than some opiates considered to be more dangerous (such as morphine and OxyContin), getting and abusing it is relatively easy. This is despite the fact that codeine is very similar chemically to drugs such as morphine and hydrocodone. Though less potent, codeine provides effects similar to morphine.