Getting Help for Codeine Addiction
Are you or someone you know struggling with an addiction to codeine? If so, you have come to the right place. While it may not be easy, breaking away from a codeine addiction is possible at any stage. In order to safely quit using codeine and begin the journey of recovery, it is imperative to seek help from qualified professionals immediately.
If you are ready to take the first step toward your life…recovered, please contact our Admissions Specialists now at 855-575-1292. We are available 24 hours a day to provide support and answer any questions you may have.
What You Need to Know About Codeine Addiction
Codeine is a prescription opioid designed for effective relief of numerous degrees of pain. Since it produces a high when taken in a strong dose, it is also a popular option for illegal recreational use and is considered a fundamental element of the United States opioid crisis. Opioids are not only a serious problem in the United States, in the past few years many countries worldwide have passed regulations to try and cut back on opioid use.
When managed properly and in controlled doses, the risk for addiction is minimized, which is why it is a common option for short-term medical use. Unfortunately, if abused or used long-term, a dependence can easily develop. This in turn is what causes a codeine addiction.
The risks of codeine addiction are largely associated with the degree and timeframe of dependence to the drug. Since codeine is a pain medication, the dependence may be psychological before it is physical, in which case the addiction is easier and safer to address. However, once a physical dependence forms, the addiction can quickly escalate into posing a serious health risk that is difficult to treat.
What is Codeine?
When referring to codeine in relation to addiction, the most common forms that people talk about are the variations that are prescribed by doctors in response to cases of severe pain. This is because these variants have the strongest doses of codeine and as a result, are the most desirable for illicit use. Since they have a clear and valuable medical use, these originally were able to be purchased over the counter without a prescription. However, this changed when the addictive risks of opioids became clear. The weaker variants are still intended for pain relief, and are common enough that some products with them, such as variants of Tylenol, are household names.
Other well-known brand names that commonly include codeine are Fioricet, Robitussin and Maxiflu. Although these are all safe to use when taken as instructed, even the former over the counter doses can prove dangerous and present a risk for addiction when abused.
Codeine appears in tablet, capsule or liquid forms, and can be taken orally or through injection. Capsules and tablets require a longer period to take effect but usually last longer, meanwhile injection impacts the user quickly since the liquid is entered directly into the bloodstream.
Common Nicknames for Codeine
While codeine has many legal forms, when being abused it is often taken without a prescription and procured through illegal means. These most commonly involve buying the codeine from someone who has a standing prescription. The reason this form of the drug is most desirable is because it has the strongest potency, which leads to greater effects. Other methods for acquiring the drugs are to try and forge a prescription or find an inside supplier at a pharmaceutical company.
As all these methods for obtaining the stronger variants are incredibly illegal, users and sellers have developed a list of street names in order to manage their transactions and talk about the drug without attracting as much attention. The goal of this is usually to hide from law officials but may also be a result of trying to hide the addiction from family members.
Common nicknames for codeine include:
If someone you know is using names from this list, it may be a clear sign that they have developed a codeine addiction. Keep in mind though that since nicknames are constantly evolving to help hide codeine use, this list does not contain every possible nickname.
How Addictive is Codeine?
The forms of codeine that are prescribed for medical use (which consist of pure codeine or at least 90 mg per dose) are classified as Schedule II controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The requirement for being listed in this category is that a substance is highly addictive but has important medical value, other examples include morphine and fentanyl. The fact that codeine is listed beside these two major names speaks volumes to its addictive capabilities, and for that reason, users should be especially careful to follow their doctor’s instructions when given a prescription.
The reason that codeine is so addictive stems from the two ways that a dependence forms. The first of these is purely psychological, and results when a person who experiences frequent pain or struggles with pain management begins taking codeine more often than they should as a coping mechanism. This includes instances where the pain is not even severe. Through this, they end up forming an emotional reliance on the drug before a physical dependence can develop.
In the other case, a true physical dependence forms where with repeated use, the body adapts to the presence of codeine and comes to rely on it to function. This happens because when taken, codeine binds to opioid receptors to cause pleasurable feelings and a euphoric high by prompting the body to produce increased amounts of endorphins, such as dopamine. In medical cases, this can help override pain, but recreationally it is used just to experience those feelings.
As codeine use continues, the body will begin to adapt to the higher levels of dopamine, resulting in the need for more codeine to maintain the same effects. Over time, this changes the body and brain to a point where taking codeine no longer feels like a choice, but rather an act of survival. If codeine use abruptly stops, the body will face symptoms of withdrawal that are difficult to bear, usually causing users to maintain their addiction. A few common symptoms for recognizing withdrawal are nausea, dizziness and irritability.
In the later stages of an addiction, the body can change enough that attempting to quit becomes not only a difficult task, but potentially a dangerous one too.
Symptoms of Codeine Addiction
One of the best ways to recognize if someone has a codeine addiction is to watch for the side effects caused by the drug. These can be physical and psychological and may have far reaching social and behavioral impacts. It is importantly to try and spot the signs quickly, as at later stages some of the side effects can even cause permanent damage.
Some of the common side effects include:
Changes in vision
Increased heart rate
More About Codeine
A codeine addiction can occur in anyone with exposure to the drug. Even if a patient is using it under a prescription and following their doctor’s guidelines, codeine is strong enough that they can still develop a dependence. For this reason, anyone who takes codeine should monitor their intake carefully and watch for any symptoms that could signal the development of a dependence.
To better understand the risks, it is useful to know some of the statistics associated with the drug. For example:
More than 1 in 10 people have or currently abuse opioids
Codeine alone accounts for 10% of opioid abuse
Around 22% of misusers reported received the drug from a doctor
More than 50% of misusers reported receiving the drug from a family member or friend
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, women are more likely to abuse and die from codeine
Codeine usually stays in a person’s system for up to 24 hours
Some tests, such as hair tests, can detect codeine weeks after use
Therapy and Treatment for Codeine Addiction
When an individual develops a severe codeine addiction, it is important to seek treatment from medical professionals at a rehab center so the addiction may be treated in the most effective and safest manner.
When a person enters a drug and alcohol rehab facility for a codeine addiction, they can typically expect to first undergo detoxification. Detox is a process in which the substance of choice is removed from the body under the supervision of medical professionals. During this stage of care, the patient may begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal, making the process slightly more difficult and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, with the help of physicians and nursing staff, these symptoms can be managed through various interventions and treatment practices. A medically monitored detox protocol is essential to ongoing success, as it provides each person with the necessary support while mitigating any potentially harmful risk factors.
Once a person has completed detoxification, they will transition into residential treatment, where they will work closely with a therapist and other clinical staff to address the underlying causes of their disease. This phase of treatment is crucial since addiction typically begins on a psychological level, rather than a physical dependence. During therapy, the patient will be taught new, healthy coping mechanisms and additional techniques to handle obstacles outside of treatment and avoid future temptations.
Getting Help for Codeine Addiction Today
If you suspect yourself or a loved one of an addiction, do not wait to seek help from professionals who understand addiction and are trained in best practices. At Brookdale, we will provide you with the highest quality of treatment services, ranging from individualized treatment modalities, comprehensive services, luxury amenities and a customized aftercare plan tailored to fit your needs.
Our only hope is to give you the best possible chance of long-term success, so you may live up to your fullest potential and discover your new life…recovered.
Contact us today at 855-575-1292 to begin the process of treatment and recovery.