Terpin Hydrate

I never knew what this was, until the other day.  I took a lot of it in my youth, but today it’s banned by the FDA.  For our own protection, of course…

In my youth I knew it as ‘cough syrup;’ and it worked very well for me, thank you very much!  What I didn’t know at the time was, how addictive it was!  It had codeine in it.  

I am a recovering alcoholic.  One of the ‘drills’ we are put through in the treatment center was to look at our alcohol use – from the beginning to the often bitter ended.  I didn’t pick up on my addiction to cough syrup until a few years later – then it dawned on me!

I attended my junior year in high school (1962 – 1963) at Verdun High School, France. Our school was a former German hospital, converted to a high school for military kids.  It was kind of a ‘bleak’ place, surrounded by a high barbed wire fence.  Charming.


One day I had a cough so I went to the school nurse.  She listened to me for a while, then opened this large grey steel locker behind her desk.  She took out a pint of this ‘clear liquid,’ and handed it to me.  I took a ‘swig,’ and it burned like Hell!  I soon took a second swig, not quite knowing why.  It also burned, but not quite as much.  By the time I was half way through the bottle, it didn’t burn anymore…and my cough was gone!  Go figure.  I was also quite a bit more “mellow.”  I also discovered Ms. Southworth’s algebra class was going a bit smoother also.  

I drank quite a bit of that ‘stuff’ my junior year; not realizing what it really was, or how addictive it was.  It may have cured my cough, but it also activated my disease… oh well – part of the journey.

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2 Responses to Terpin Hydrate

  1. Wings2012 says:

    The chemically dependant has always been a mystery to me. I guess I’m one of those lucky one’s who does not have that “addict” thing mixed in the bag that is… personality. The term “abuser”; however, is hereby banished from my vocabulary and I appreciate the heads-up. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Cheeta17 says:

    Thank you, and I appreciate your comments.

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