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Codeine Addiction and Treatment

1-800-315-2391  |  April 6th

Codeine Addiction and Treatment

Codeine is a narcotic painkiller that's widely used throughout the world. Codeine is prescribed for patients suffering from mild to moderate pain and is very effective when taken as prescribed. Most of the codeine we use in the United States comes from morphine; the physical side effects of codeine are much milder than morphine though.

When codeine is prescribed as a pain reliever it only decreases the sensation of pain, it doesn't treat the reason for the pain. When used as a cough suppressant, codeine works by quieting down the part in our brain that causes us to cough.

Codeine is also combined with other medications for suppressing coughs. Most of the time codeine is taken orally and is a very effective form of treatment as long as it's not abused and taken as directed. Today there are many young people experimenting with drugs and substances recreationally and there are individuals that have developed dependency toward cough syrups containing codeine. Pain pills are abused more and more as time goes on and has become one of the most abused drugs in the United States.

Codeine is abused everywhere not just in the United States, in Nigeria it has been observed that over the counter cough syrups that contain codeine and pholcodine is increasing in abuse among their young people recreationally. It's sad because there are many medical benefits associated with codeine. There have been many bad drug reactions around the world pertaining to the miss-use and abuse of codeine and some have been fatal.

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Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Individuals that miss-use codeine or abuse this painkiller intentionally may experience symptoms of withdrawal if they stop using codeine all at once.

  1. Fatigue and weakness
  2. Tiredness and yawning
  3. Drippy sinuses
  4. Sweating
  5. Headaches
  6. Muscle discomfort and pain
  7. Heart beat may become irregular
  8. Nausea and/or vomiting
  9. Fever
  10. Unable to sleep

Codeine Overdose

  1. Breathing difficulties
  2. Lips and fingernails appear to be bluish in color
  3. Extremely drowsy
  4. Unconscious
  5. Weakness in muscles
  6. Skin becomes clammy and cold
  7. Lightheadedness
  8. Slowed heartbeat
  9. Pulse becomes weak
  10. Breathing completely stops
  11. Decreased blood pressure
  12. Pupils appear pin-point in size
  13. Seizure
  14. Stomach or intestinal spasms

Codeine Dependency Treatment Options

Detox may be necessary especially for individual who are heavy chronic codeine users. Many times there is more than one substance that's been abused and detoxification is necessary before treating the addictive behavior and working toward recovery.

Each person is different and their use of substances varies. It's important to look for underlying issues that may play a role in abusing narcotics like codeine and other painkillers. Those suffering from mental disorders many times abuse narcotics and other substances if their illness has gone undiagnosed and untreated.

Behavioral therapy is very effective for those dealing with dependencies to drugs or alcohol. Many people who abuse narcotics abuse other substances as well and are dependent on more than one substance. Learning new ways to cope with stress helps individuals working toward recovery from dependency and addiction and is very successful in preventing relapse down the road.

Substance abuse treatment needs to be individualized and pertain to specific areas and needs for each patient. Many factors come into play when determining treatment for individuals addicted to narcotics like codeine. Depending on the duration of use, how chronic the abuse is and if there are underlying issues determines whether outpatient or residential inpatient treatment is necessary.

References & Resources

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