When people think of drug addiction, they often think of illicit substances such as cocaine or heroin. However, prescription medications can often be even more dangerous when it comes to addiction because they are obtained legally. Thus, oftentimes, the people who become addicted to prescription medications do so through no fault of their own. Additionally, these types of addictions don’t get the attention that they deserve due to the legal nature of the substance. A prime example of this is codeine and codeine addiction.
Codeine is one of the most prescribed drugs in the entire country. Due to the fact that it is an active ingredient in many cough syrups, it’s also one of the most easily accessible drugs on the market. Unfortunately, codeine can be very addicting, even if only used as directed. On this page, we will take a look at what exactly codeine is, some of the signs and symptoms of codeine addiction, and how you or a loved one can get treatment for codeine addiction.
What Is Codeine?
Codeine is a prescription drug that doctors typically prescribe to people to treat mild to moderate pain. As we mentioned above, codeine is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter cough and cold medications. Taking codeine tends to give people feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
While having such feelings is beneficial when it comes to helping cure ailments, the body can start to crave these feelings so much that it causes them to abuse the substance. Chronic abuse of codeine can then turn into codeine dependence and codeine addiction.
What Are Some of the Signs and Symptoms of Codeine Addiction?
It can sometimes be tricky to identify codeine addiction. Since codeine has many legitimate medical uses and can even be found in over-the-counter products, having codeine laying around, even in larger quantities isn’t necessarily a red flag or a cause for concern. Because of how difficult it is to identify codeine addiction, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms.
Some of the more common signs of codeine abuse and codeine addiction include:
- Changes in social circles
- Losing interest in activities or hobbies
- Abnormal heart rate
- Decreased appetite
- Feeling tired or weak
There are also some signs of codeine dependence that are more unique. Let’s take a look at some of these more unique and significant signs of codeine dependence and addiction.
An Increase in Tolerance
Like with many other substances, over time your body builds up a tolerance to codeine. This results in you needing to take more and more codeine in order to reach your desired effect. While codeine is often obtained legally through a doctor’s prescription or in over-the-counter cough medicine, it’s highly addictive. This means that as your body builds up a tolerance to codeine, it grows dependent on it, which can be a dangerous combination.
Turning To Other Substances
If people’s tolerance level toward codeine gets high enough, the drug might not be as effective for them anymore. Thus, if people find themselves addicted to codeine, they will likely turn to other substances to achieve the feelings that they desire. Since codeine has similar effects to that of other stronger opioids, oftentimes someone hooked on codeine will turn to even more addictive and dangerous substances such as heroin, oxycontin, Xanax, or fentanyl.
An Irregular Appetite
As mentioned in the list above, one of the more common symptoms of codeine addiction is nausea. It’s also a common side effect of withdrawal from codeine. This feeling of nausea can result in changes to people’s eating habits or eating patterns. This is because they might not be hungry as often due to the nausea that’s associated with codeine addiction.
Development of Interpersonal Problems
Oftentimes, people who suffer from addictions and try to hide it might begin to act strange. They might change the types of people that they hang out with or the places that they go.
You might also begin to notice changes in the overall behavior of people with codeine addictions or notice people with codeine addictions losing interest in certain hobbies or activities. People with codeine addictions might also start ignoring or neglecting daily tasks such as work or school and normal commitments or responsibilities. All these could be signs of codeine dependence or codeine addiction.
What Are The Symptoms Associated with Codeine Withdrawal?
Even if people identify that they have codeine use issues and try to stop using, doing so can be very difficult. This is in large part due to the severe withdrawal symptoms associated with codeine dependency and addiction.
In many cases, the withdrawal symptoms are so bad that people go back to taking codeine just to get relief from the withdrawal symptoms. That’s why detox is so crucial to the overall recovery process. It allows people to go through withdrawals in a controlled environment with around-the-clock medical care and supervision.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with codeine include:
- Muscle pains
- Muscle spasms
- Stomach cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
Can You Overdose on Codeine?
While codeine is considered a mild opiate, it’s still possible to overdose on it and it can even be deadly. This is because opiates depress the central nervous system which can cause issues with the heart and respiratory system.
Some signs of a codeine overdose include:
- Extreme fatigue or drowsiness
- Cold and clammy skin
- Slow breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Low blood pressure
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Weak pulse
- Muscle twitching
- Intestinal spasms
If you think you might be experiencing a codeine overdose, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Left untreated, a codeine overdose can result in a coma, brain damage, or even death.
What Are My Treatment Options For Codeine Addiction?
The first step in the treatment process for codeine addiction is to enter into detox. During the detox process, you will rid your body of any and all harmful substances so that you can begin the recovery process.
Given the nature of detoxing and the withdrawal symptoms associated with codeine that we talked about earlier, it is crucial to undergo detox treatment under the care and supervision of trained medical professionals. This can be done at either a local medical facility, a dedicated detox center, or a treatment center that also provides detox services such as Phoenix Rising Recovery.
Attempting to self-detox can be very dangerous and potentially even life-threatening.
Once detox has been completed, the next step is to enter into a treatment program. After meeting with a treatment professional, we’ll recommend which treatment program is best for you and create a custom treatment plan for you.
Codeine Treatment Options At Phoenix Rising Recovery
At Phoenix Rising, we offer a wide variety of treatment program options including:
During treatment, individuals will participate in both individual and group therapy sessions where they will learn what exactly caused their addictions. Individuals will also learn ways in which they can go back to living their lives without needing any drugs or alcohol anymore.
We offer a wide variety of therapies in addition to our group and individual therapy sessions.
These therapies include the following:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- EMDR therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Family therapy
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Neurofeedback therapy
In addition to these more traditional therapy options, we also offer a variety of holistic therapies to complement the more traditional ones. These holistic therapies are designed to show you simple, fun, and healthier ways to deal with anything that might cause you to want to start using again.
We offer the following holistic therapy options:
- Music therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Acupuncture therapy
- Equine therapy
- Art therapy
Are You In Need of Codeine Addiction Treatment?
Codeine is unique in that you can become dependent and even addicted to it through no fault of your own. Many people find themselves developing a codeine addiction despite using the substance only as medically directed. This can lead to feelings of great shame and embarrassment. It’s important to remember though that addiction is nothing to be ashamed and embarrassed about.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to any substance, including codeine, contact us today. We will discuss the different treatment options with you and answer any questions that you may have. At Phoenix Rising, we want to make sure that everyone that comes and sees us goes on to live happy, healthy, and sober lives.