Opiates such as codeine and hydrocodone are sometimes prescribed for cough suppression. This can help to stop the body's urge to cough. Other medications, such as expectorants, may be used to help loosen phlegm in the respiratory tract.
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that has anti-tussive properties. It is often combined with antihistamines or other cough medicines. Codeine has long been used as an effective cough suppressant.
Cough Syrup Abuse Can Lead to Serious Side Effects and Addiction
The problem with these medications is that they are subject to abuse and may lead to dependence or addiction. People who abuse opiate cough syrup often drink it undiluted. Some people may mix it with soda pop. Others have been known to dip marijuana joints in cough syrup to heighten effects.
Abuse of cough syrup can have a host of side effects including the rush or "high" that many abusers seek. Others can include:
- Dilated pupils
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Impaired judgment
- Urinary retention
- Upset stomach or other digestive issues
- Panic attacks
- Psychotic episodes
- Hot and cold flashes
- Poor coordination
- Memory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
Cough Syrup Abuse and Addiction Can Lead to A Need For Opiate Detox
Opiate abuse, addiction and overdose are very serious problems. Cough preparations containing opiates should always be taken as directed. People who are abusing this medication may try to get them from several sources. These can include doctor's offices, the black market or shady Internet websites.
People who become dependent upon or addicted to opiate cough syrups will likely go through opiate withdrawal if they try to stop taking them. This can be very difficult to get through, especially if the abuse has been long term. People who suffer with opiate addiction may need help to get better.
Opiate detox and opiate rehab are available to help patients through this difficult time. Various programs, including rapid opiate detox, may be able to accomplish this quickly and safely, with minimal suffering.