Because so many people are seeking out pills of all kinds for various purposes, sham pharmacies continue to pop up with the goal of filling that gap and earning lots of money. Unfortunately, those who are seeking codeine for legitimate use are often harmed in the process, getting deadly counterfeit substitute pills or no pills at all.
While you can safely buy codeine online if you work with a legitimate pharmacy based in the U.S., there are many scam “pharmacies” online looking to sell fake pills or rip off customers.
Codeine is a cousin of morphine, a prescription opioid that is prescribed for the treatment of moderate-to-severe pain and highly addictive.
For many, the search for an online pharmacy to fill a prescription is legitimate, a way to manage the high costs associated with the drug or an effort to avoid the physical effort that comes with going to a pharmacy and standing in line to get a prescription.
For some, however, the search for online sources for codeine is a way to circumvent laws that would prevent abuse of the drug. Some might:
Yes, it is possible to purchase codeine online and to do so safely. For example, if your doctor works with an online pharmacy or there is an online version available to you through the brick-and-mortar pharmacy that you currently use, it is likely that this is a legitimate and safe source for your medication. However, many online pharmacies are not legitimate. They are not located where they say they are, they send counterfeit pills, and their business practices regarding buyers’ personal information are dubious. Those who seek a safe source for their codeine prescription should proceed with caution.
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The first risk is the fact that the company may simply take your money and ship nothing at all. Fly-by-night online pharmacies often evaporate overnight, with no response to your questions and eventually, no site available online.
The next risk is what the illegal pharmacy might do with your information. Are they selling your credit card information? Targeting you for other scams based on the prescription you are buying? It’s impossible to know until it’s too late.
Another risk is that the illegal online pill sellers will send expired or unusable versions of codeine. These pills might have expired, been stored in a place with extreme fluctuating temperatures, or otherwise shipped in unsafe, proximity with another volatile or toxic substance.
One of the biggest risks that come with buying codeine online is that the scam pharmacy will send a pill that looks exactly like codeine but contains little or no codeine.
In these cases, they instead send a pill that contains a deadly drug like fentanyl or a substance that will cause overdose or another medical emergency because it interferes with treatment for an underlying medical disorder. For so many, this risk is not even considered to be a possibility until it is too late.
Absolutely. One of the easiest ways is to buy drug test kits that tell you if you received the intended drug. For example, you can purchase codeine test kits that will immediately let you know whether or not the pill in your hand contains codeine. If the test is negative, you know that your pill is not what you expected. If the test is positive, then you know that codeine makes up at least part of the pill.
The hope is that it is mixed with acetaminophen as it should be, but if you are concerned that there are other, potentially toxic substances present in the pill, then you will need to test specifically for those substances.
For example, some people opt to test for fentanyl in every pill they purchase, whether from an online pharmacy or otherwise.
Especially in counterfeit drugs sold on the street, this cheap synthetic opioid is used to increase efficacy without paying for the higher priced opioid; however, even a tiny amount can be deadly, and if too much is taken, then the person may suffer an overdose.
If you don’t test specifically for a substance, you will never know that it is in the pill.
Even if your test correctly identifies codeine in the pill (and it is possible to have false positives), it does not tell you anything about what else is in the drug.
Even if it is not fentanyl, it could be a chemical that triggers a medical emergency that is equally deadly.
Yes. If your prescription is legitimate, prescribed for a documentable medical reason by a medical professional who is legally allowed to write such prescriptions, and you fill that prescription exactly as written through a valid online pharmacy, then it is absolutely legal to buy codeine online.
However, if any part of the transaction involves something illegal, then you are at risk of legal action.
The answer to this question depends on the circumstances. If any of the following are true, you could be arrested for purchasing codeine online:
There are not only implications and charges directly associated with each possible illegal action on its own, but there are also a litany of charges specific to using the U.S. Postal Service as the delivery method of illegal opioids like codeine.
Yes. If you would like to avoid the painful tedium of repeatedly standing in long lines at pharmacies to pick up prescriptions, including your prescription for codeine, you can legally buy the drug online and be assured of its quality just as you would if you were to purchase it in person.
One of the primary reasons people seek to fill codeine prescriptions online is an addiction to the drug. It is worth it to pause and consider if there is a substance use disorder driving the need to seek online sources for the pills.
If substance abuse issues are present, do not wait to connect with treatment services that can provide healing and wellness through recovery.
Compound Summary: Codeine. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Retrieved March 2019 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/codeine
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(November 2012) Health Outcomes in Patients Using No-Prescription Online Pharmacies to Purchase Prescription Drugs. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3799543/
How to Buy and Use Medicine: Help with Prescription Drug Costs. USA.gov. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.usa.gov/medicine
(September 2018) Counterfeit Prescription Drugs: Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Your Pets. California State Board of Pharmacy. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.pharmacy.ca.gov/publications/counterfeit_drugs.pdf
Report Suspected Unlawful Sales of Pharmaceutical Drugs on the Internet. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Diversion Control Division. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/consumer_alert.htm
(February 2018) Opioids and the Mail. United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.uspsoig.gov/blog/opioids-and-mail
(September 2011) Quality of Online Pharmacies and Websites Selling Prescription Drugs: A Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Retrieved March 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222188/