Kodelak: A Russian junkie’s dream come true.
St. Petersburg’s drug situation was always better than Moscow’s. In fact most of the “fast” shit (ecstasy and meth) was produced in “Peter” and distributed to Moscow for double the price. St. Pete resisted cheap smack when it first hit about ten years ago, but eventually surrendered after most of the trendy pro-West boys and gals saw Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction. I swear these two films killed more Russians of my generation than fucking Afghanistan. For a while it seemed like Muscovite junkies and St. Pete’s University kids were competing for body counts as each kept upping the ante from heavily-cut brown crap to china white until both sides were all dead. After the first wave of junkies died, everyone switched to Phentanyl, a synthetic opiate that’s 100 times stronger than heroin. Then one day Phentanyl was responsible for more than 130 deaths. The FSB (which is like the FBI but waaaay scarier) gassed the “Nord-Ost” hostages with it in October 2002 to prevent some Chechen mujahadeen from blowing the building up with 900 or so hostages inside. The women and children simply OD’d on the stuff. Oops! It was easy to spot on TV, all those blue faces with their heads tilted back, mouths open. All of a sudden Phentanyl was evil in the public’s mind and had to be eradicated. Ironically the task was left up to the FSB, the ones that made it evil in the first place. Within weeks all the Phentanyl was gone and all the dealers were either dead or in jail. Now what? You’ve got a nation of junkies and a corrupt government with piles of opiates nobody wants to ever see again. Well, what do you think’s going to happen? Alex, a 34-year-old addict who’s lived in St. Petersburg and Moscow says, “The second all the Phentanyl and heroin dissapeared, codeine cough pills magically showed up in drugstores all over the country. You could see those empty blue packages everywhere. They even went as far as advertising these pills on national TV. Obviously, the government was up to something.” Indeed, by 2003 almost all illegal opiates in Moscow had been replaced with these popular over-the-counter codeine pills. “If you take 20 pills of Kodelak, which is 160 mg of codeine phosphate, you get a good nod going,” reports Alex. “I take 60 pills a day. My habit was about $200 daily when it was heroin. Now it’s 300 bucks a month, thanks to Kodelak. And I don’t need to rob or steal or anything like that to keep myself going!” The invisible hand of capitalism has spoken: “Legalize it.” VLAD OSOVSKY