Codeine Abuse

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Codeine

If you are on a dangerous path of codeine abuse, there is help that can restore your health and ultimately, your life. By now you probably already know that abusing codeine or other opiates is dangerous. It can lead to dependence, addiction and possible overdose.

Codeine is one of the most widely used painkillers out there. Sometimes, it is combined with other medications and can also be found in cough syrup form. People abuse codeine for any number of reasons, including the sedation, relaxation and intoxication it can cause.

Codeine Misuse

There has been widespread abuse of codeine and codeine cough syrup in the United States. The combination of codeine and the antihistamine promethazine is sometimes abused by people who mix it with certain soft drinks and sometimes candy. Taken at high dosages, it can cause hallucinations and feelings of sedation and euphoria. Prolonged intake or abuse of codeine cough syrup can lead to both physical and psychological opiate dependence.

The truth is, codeine cough syrup and other medications should be used under the supervision of a doctor. It's so important to follow directions closely. Taking codeine too often, or in a higher dosage than recommended, can be detrimental to your health. People who do can become dependent upon or addicted to the codeine component in this cough syrup.

Signs Of Codeine Use

If someone is using codeine in an inappropriate way, there are some indicators to watch out for. Sometimes, signs of codeine abuse are a good indicator that someone is suffering with an opiate addiction. Despite being available by a prescription from a doctor, opiates including codeine are very potent and can be deadly.

Codeine should always be used within the parameters of a legitimate prescription. Directions should be followed closely. If someone you love is using codeine in an abusive manner, these signs can be giveaways:

  • Taking too much codeine at once
  • Taking codeine more often than recommended
  • Running out of codeine before the prescription is due to be renewed
  • Taking codeine without a prescription
  • Combining codeine with other substances to heighten the effects
  • Doctor shopping or visiting multiple doctors to secure more codeine
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, including prescription fraud, diversion or theft
  • Changes in mood, behavior and/or personality
  • Drug seeking behavior (doctor shopping, visiting pill mills etc.)
  • Slurred speech
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Nodding off
  • Lack of coordination
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Depression
  • Questionable behavior
  • Use of laxatives to combat the side effect of constipation

A Spiraling Codeine Problem Should Be Addressed ASAP

Many people start out using codeine for pain relief or cough suppression. They may become dependent if codeine is used for a prolonged period. The misuse of these types of drugs can escalate quickly, and codeine addiction can sneak up before you know it. Some people use codeine recreationally (without a medical need). They may abuse the drug for the secondary effects it can produce – sedation, euphoria or a "rush."

Ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away are not good strategies. The best time to get treatment is early on, before the problem progresses beyond control. That's the thing about opiates – you may have some degree of control in the beginning, but opiate addiction is progressive and spirals quickly.

Now I Know But Where Do I Go From Here?

There are plenty of options for codeine treatment. Detox and rehab – both inpatient and outpatient – are available to assist patients on the road to recovery. A person who has become dependent upon codeine may be in denial. Persuading them to seek treatment may not be an easy task, but keep with it. These types of treatment programs can provide enormous benefits. It is more than possible for people to live an opiate free life.

Codeine withdrawal can be tough to go through. Many times people who recognize they have a problem try to stop but turn back because of uncomfortable withdrawal signs. The right codeine detox and aftercare program can manage withdrawal and ease you through this time. Complete and total recovery from opiate abuse, dependence and addiction can happen. The first step is to recognize the problem and seek help.

Codeine is an opiate that can be prescribed for mild to moderate pain relief or cough suppression. It has habit-forming qualities, especially if abused. It's important to recognize the signs so you can do something about it before the problem progresses.

Problems Associated With Codeine Abuse

The issues that can develop when a person abuses codeine include physical and psychological dependence (addiction), overdose and liver problems. If codeine is abused in a preparation with acetaminophen, the person can unknowingly be setting himself or herself up for liver damage. Acetaminophen in high dosages can be deadly for the liver. Some people who abuse codeine this way may also be getting acetaminophen in other medications, increasing the dangers.

Codeine can be deadly when mixed with other substances that depress the central nervous system and affect breathing. These can include alcohol, sedatives, other opiates and some sleep medications. Codeine overdose can be deadly.

Professional Codeine Detox Can Help Patients Recover Quickly

You deserve to have the most comprehensive, safe and effective codeine treatment out there. Not only that, you deserve to be treated in a compassionate and humane manner. Adding blame and guilt to the mix rarely helps anyone. There are plenty of non-judgmental programs that can help you detox from codeine if you've become addicted.

Codeine detox can initiate opiate withdrawal, which can be difficult to get through without help. Many treatment programs are able to effectively address withdrawal to lessen or eliminate codeine withdrawal symptoms. Take the first step and seek out codeine treatment today.