At Mount Regis Center, we offer an intensive, evidence-based approach to codeine abuse and addiction treatment. We offer a variety of therapeutic interventions that help our clients build a strong foundation for long-term recovery. Codeine, one of the most commonly used opioid narcotics in the world, is a relatively short-acting analgesic, with most effects lasting a few hours. A member of the opiate class of narcotic prescription medications, codeine is derived from a member of the opium poppy plant. Opiates include other drugs such as heroin, Vicodin, hydrocodone, OxyContin, and Demerol. Codeine is generally prescribed by a physician to treat mild-to-moderate levels of pain, manage a pesky cough, and occasional treat gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.
On its own, codeine is a prescription-only opiate painkiller. Small amounts of codeine are sometimes mixed with other medicines — like paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin — and these can be bought from a chemist or pharmacy. Because codeine is highly addictive, medicines that contain it such as co-codamol carry warnings on the packs about the risk of addiction.
Codeine addiction: abuse, side effects, and treatment
Codeine is an opioid medication prescribed to reduce physical pain. It can cause feelings of relaxation, drowsiness, confusion, nausea, itchiness and constipation, especially if taken in large doses. Codeine can sometimes make people feel drowsy and nauseous. As with any prescribed medicine, codeine can cause side effects — and you should always read the list of common side effects included with a medication, and any warnings printed on the packaging.
Taking more codeine than prescribed to you by a doctor, or taking illegal codeine such as from a friend, a dealer or websiteincreases the risk of overdose and other side effects, such as:. Lower blood pressure and abnormal breathing, which can lead to respiratory arrest — which is when you stop breathing altogether. Fatal side effects from another drug if the codeine is part of a combined medicine, such as co-codamol.
These include: kidney failure, liver failure, indigestion or bleeding from the stomach. Fatal side effects if you mix the codeine with other drugs that suppress breathing — such as alcoholbenzodiazepines like diazepam Valiumor other opioid drugs.
As with other opiates, taking very high doses of codeine during pregnancy may lead to withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies. People sometimes take codeine to help them manage with stress and depression.
Other consequences of long-term codeine abuse
Using any drug to escape bad feelings can increase the risk of becoming dependent on the drug. However, long-term abuse of any mood-altering chemical — like codeine — can also contribute to symptoms such as anxiety and depression, so you could be making your mental health worse by taking it.
This may not be true for codeine bought from a dealer or over the internet, however. Codeine bought from dealers or online may not have had safety testing, and could be cut with other drugs. Even if the codeine tablet looks like a pharmaceutical product, there are plenty of counterfeits fakes that look like the real thing.
Codeine is especially dangerous to mix with alcohol, benzodiazepines like diazepam Valium and other opioid drugs.
Codeine abuse rates in the u.s.
Some people get addicted to codeine after being prescribed it to treat physical pain. They can experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the tablets and this can be a reason that people continue taking it or seek codeine illegally. Tolerance can also build up, so that users have to take more just to get the same effects or to avoid unpleasant withdrawals. Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Like drink-driving, driving when high is dangerous and illegal. If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a home, club, bar or hostel, they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any other person concerned in the management of the premises. Codeine on its own is only available on prescription, unauthorised possession is illegal. Small amounts of codeine are in some medicines which can be bought without prescription but only in pharmacies.
These medicines include cough syrups, and tablets or capsules where the codeine is combined with other medicines, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin, for treating headaches, period pain etc.
Codeine containing medicines carry warnings on the packs about the risk of addiction and advise that the non-prescription medicines should only be used for up to three days at a time without medical advice. If you or someone else needs urgent help after taking drugs or drinking, call for an ambulance. Tell the crew everything you know.
It could save their life. How it looks, tastes and smells What does it look like?
Codeine addiction statistics
Small white pills or tablets A syrup — like a cough syrup A solution — for injecting. How do people take it?
Codeine is used to treat mild to moderate pain and diarrhea. People usually swallow it in pills. How it feels How does it make you feel?
Description and brand names
Prescribed codeine To kick in: It takes around one hour for codeine to take effect. How long it lasts: Codeine lasts for around 3 to 4 hours depending on the dose taken. After effects: After taking codeine, a person can feel tired, lethargic and washed out.
The risks Physical health risks As with any prescribed medicine, codeine can cause side effects — and you should always read the list of common side effects included with a medication, and any warnings printed on the packaging. Taking more codeine than prescribed to you by a doctor, or taking illegal codeine such as from a friend, a dealer or websiteincreases the risk of overdose and other side effects, such as: Lower blood pressure and abnormal breathing, which can lead to respiratory arrest — which is when you stop breathing altogether.
Long-term effects of codeine misuse and addiction
Mixing Is it dangerous to mix with other drugs? Addiction Can you get addicted? Yes, codeine is addictive. Over time codeine can produce cravings and a psychological desire to keep on using. Physical dependence is common in regular users.
Withdrawal symptoms include: nervous tremors anxiety yawning sweating runny nose sleep disturbance nausea diarrhoea goosebumps restlessness abdominal cramps and muscle spasms. Possession can get you up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Concerned about A friend. What else to do in an emergency.