My writing schedule has taken something of a battering recently. I’ve been doing way too much overtime. And haven’t had time to work on anything. Although I have managed to continue researching Carrion. Basically I’ve been reduced to trawling the internet on my iPhone whenever I get a chance. While I was looking into the misuse of over-the-counter medications. I came across something called “cold water extraction”. It’s a simple way of extracting opiates from over-the-counter medicines. I think the process may work well as a way of getting Christine and Stephen into drug related trouble. Co-codamol is a pain killer. A combination of codeine and paracetamol. Used to relieve painful conditions where paracetamol alone is not enough. Codeine is an opiate. When taken in sufficient quantity it is said to make you feel “numb”. For some it elicits a “slight warm and fuzzy feeling”. But the problem with co-codamol is that the codeine is combined with paracetamol. A friend was recently prescribed co-codamol in its 8/500mg form. That’s 8mgs of codeine phosphate. Combined with 500mgs of paracetamol. Imagine if you wanted to get high on codiene. And it takes 350mg of codeine to give you that “slightly warm and fuzzy feeling”. You’d have to take about forty-four tablets of co-codamol. Which means you are also taking 22000mgs of paracetamol. Recommended daily dose of paracetamol should not exceed 4000mgs. Taking more than 4000mgs can cause liver failure. And lead to death. If you tried to take co-codamol to get high. You’d overdoes on paracetamol before you were able to get any kind of codeine buzz. Because codeine is an opiate. And opiates dissolve in water. It is possible to separated the codine from the paracetamol using cold water extraction. Before I give you a brief explanation of how it’s done. I have to say that I do not advocate this technique. I have never done it. Have no plans to try it. It interests me only in so far as it is a dramatic device within the fictionalised reality of Carrion. That said here is how cold water extraction works.
First the user must decide on the dose of codeine they want to take. Collect together sufficiant pills. And crush them into a fine powder. They must then pour half a cup (100 millilitres) of warm water into a jar. Tip in the powder. Screw on a lid. And shake until the water and powder are thoroughly mixed. The solution is then decanted into a bowl. Placed in a freezer. And allowed to cool. After about thirty minutes. A sediment of pill debris will settle to the bottom of the bowl. The solution can then be filtered. A swatch of cloth should be secured over a glass. And the cold water slowly poured through. Filling the glass below with a milky white liquid. The codeine rich liquid can then be drunk. Apparently the bitter taste can be disguised with cordial. It is also possible to evaporate the water. Leaving a concentrated powder ready to be ingested. But the heat necessary to achieve evaporation also risks destroying the codeine. What intrigues me most about this technique is it’s simplicity. How easy it is to obtain an opiate from an over the counter medication. Not sure how I will use it in Carrion. But it definitely throws up several interesting possibilities.