Codeine to Morphine – “Homebake Method”.
Since 1983 a large number of small-scale illicit laboratories producing morphine and heroin from commercially available, codeine-based pharmaceutical products have been encountered in New Zealand.
The codeine demethylation procedure is based on the use of pyridine hydrochloride Very simple laboratory equipment and reagents are required and these can be utilised by people with little or no chemical background, following a recipe-like procedure. The process yields a characteristic product known as ‘homebake’. This process is fully described.
The codeine used in the homebake process may be derived from one of a number of possible sources. In a few cases codeine phosphate has been obtained from pharmacy burglaries. In most instances, however, it is derived from pharmaceutical products which may he purchased without a doctor’s prescription.
Those available in NZ containing the highest proportions of codeine are: ‘Codral Forte’ — 225 mg aspirin, 150 mg paracetamol, 30 mg codeine phosphate; ‘Pirophen’ — 325 mg aspirin, 325 mg paracetamol, 10 mg codeine phosphate. Awareness among pharmacists of the way in which these particular products are being misused has resulted in greater vigilance and has led to a wide variety of other preparations containing lesser amounts of codeine also being utilised.
The patterns of drug abuse found in New Zealand (NZ) are influenced by the fact that it is a geographically isolated country with a small population (3.3 million). One recent feature has been the emergence of small-scale illicit laboratories producing morphine and heroin from codeine derived from commercially available codeine-based pharmaceutical products.
In the late 1970s high quality South-East Asian heroin became widely available in NZ for the first time. Subsequent police operations in NZ, Australia and Britain led in 1980 to the collapse of the so-called ‘Mr Asia’ drug syndicate, responsible for much of this activity.
Following this, and other successful NZ police and customs investigations, the amount of heroin available in NZ declined dramatically. This is illustrated in Fig. 1 which shows the number of illicit heroin cases submitted each year to the Chemistry Division of the NZ Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).
Chemistry Division of the DSIR provides scientific support services to the police and customs in NZ. The resulting shortage, coupled with the established market for heroin, led to the development of a simple method for the production of morphine and heroin from codeine.
Codeine, in certain compound products is not controlled under the NZ Misuse of Drugs Act (1975) and is available without prescription from retail pharmacies. The first laboratory using the process was seized in Auckland in January 1983. In the three years which followed to January 1986, Auckland police alone seized over 50 such laboratories, either fully functional or as disassembled ‘kits’, and over 90 were seized in NZ as a whole. Laboratories have been encountered in kitchens and bathrooms in most parts of the country.
The home-made product of this simple recipe-like procedure has become known as ‘homebake’. The equipment required for these laboratories is very simple and the product is normally made in small batches for the addict’s own use, although there has been a trend towards the sale of samples of the end product.
You turn the sulphate into anhydrous and then cook it with pyridine HCL and then coagulate out the crap at pH 9 to 8.75 then filter it out and one or two drops of HCL 33% will seed the morphine out which is caught on a filter paper dried and treated with acetic anhydride.
Pyridine HCL is made, pyridine must be obtained and placed in a beaker at a ratio of 10ml pyridine to 12 1/2 ml HCL you draw a line on the beaker at the pyridine level which is place in first then the correct ratio of HCL (hydrochloric acid) then boil down the volume to the line you wrote on the beaker and then cool it will crystallize to a white wax which is pyridine HCl.
[Codeine freebase from tablets]
You need codeine power to cook with also which is easily extracted from codeine and paracetamol tablets, say they contain 8mgs each you’ll need 600 to make 25ml (25 knock you on your ass blasts).
The codeine is extracted by dissolving the chalky tablets in water then filtering out the chalk.Make up a caustic solution 3tablespoons to 200ml of water and add 30ml to the codeine/water mix then add 50ml of chloroform and shake and allow the heavier solvent to sink to the bottom then you must separate off the chloroform layer, don’t be too fussy yet just get it out, wash again with 30ml of chloroform, take it out once dropped then yet another wash and same remove it.
Now you must separate all the water from the solvent every last little I mean fuckin all of the water must be out, and you can pipette it or use a separator( a flask with a tap so you shut it off when the water gets close to running through) then evap off the chloroform in a water bath, a pot with water in it (simmering) and a plate siting on top and tip in chloroform and watch codeine appear as it reduces out (you want white codeine not brown or yucky looking or sticky). Always use glass, everything glass and clean well washed clean clean clean.
[Morphine from codeine]
You need to then measure out say 3gr of pyridine HCL for one and a half grams of codeine and melt it (the P) in a long boiling tube (big test-tube) when melted shoot in the codeine and it all must dissolve so swish it, and immediately stopper the tube with a tightly rolled paper bung.
It will turn colour and viscosity and it is hard to tell when it’s cooked but a yellow/pink but not brown takes about 5min with 1 to one and a half of good boiling the temp has to hit 230celcius and it’s done but it will stick to the sides of the tube when ready.
Then tip the lot into a clean beaker with 100ml of water in it then tip some water back into the now cooler test-tube and rinse all of it out into the beaker. Next add caustic solution drop by drop till you get to pH 14 (take about 3ml of the solution I said above). You need pH papers, now wash the solution with chloroform say 40ml shake well and allow to settle or centrifuge (spin), pipette off the top aqueous layer.
Then drop the pH to 9 and shine a touch through it you’ll see it thicken with this brown mud like shit don’t go past 9 add one or two small drops once you hiyt 9 and filter that crap out, you need a vacume filter with really good filter apaer for this bit as this stuff is all the shit.
When it drops through after being filtered it will be lighter in colour and may morph immediatly but tip it into a beaker and check the pH you want to go no lower than 7.5 (using HCL spirits of salts,hydrochloric acid) while it gets to 8Ph start rubbing the sides of the beaker with a glass rod or handle of a wooden spoon right in the liquid at the water level rub hard on the beaker glass and morphine will seed in clouds off crystals, then filter them out and dry high above an element on say a fish slice (leave the dope on the filter paper and dry it then it is easy to get off it flakes off in chunks).
then place in a spoon and add acetic anhydride and cover with tinfoil and bake in the oven at 80celcius for at least 1 hour uncover turn the oven off and allow the last of the AA to sweat off. Then when cold move to the top element and heat till at least 80 degree’s and sniff well and it shouldn’t sting your nose if it does heat it lightly till the smell goes and there you have got heroin.