Codeine Addiction: 5 Fast Facts

Codeine addiction can cause serious problems in your life, and professional help is almost always needed to end an addiction.

Codeine is a prescription opioid painkiller used to treat mild to moderate pain. Like all opioid painkillers, codeine is highly addictive, and codeine addiction leaves you vulnerable to serious medical issues, including overdose and death. Here are five important things you should know about codeine addiction.

  1. Codeine addiction usually requires professional help to overcome.

Codeine produces an intense feeling of euphoria, and the brain records a memory of this pleasure--and associates it with the drug--each time you use it. Over time, this can lead to intense cravings that, in turn, lead to continued use. Codeine addiction is characterized by the inability to stop using codeine even though it's causing problems in your life, such as financial, health, relationship, or legal problems.

Other painkiller addiction symptoms include:

  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • Spending a lot of time and energy seeking, taking, and recovering from the drug.
  • A decrease in personal hygiene.
  • Taking risks you wouldn't normally take, either in search of the drug or while under the influence.
  • Hiding your drug use from others.
  • Lying to loved ones about your use.

While not everyone who abuses codeine develops an addiction to it, those who do become addicted can find help through drug treatment centers in Doylestown.

  1. Codeine withdrawal occurs when you stop using codeine after developing a dependence.

Dependence and addiction are not the same thing.

Opioid painkillers like codeine produce a high level of tolerance very quickly, which means that increasingly larger doses of codeine are soon needed to get the desired effects. This occurs due to changes in brain function as your brain tries to compensate for the presence of the drug. Over time, this may result in dependence, which sets in when your brain begins to function more "normally" when codeine is present than when it's not. Then, when you stop using codeine, brain function rebounds and causes withdrawal symptoms.

Codeine withdrawal symptoms include nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, cold and hot sweats, and muscle aches.

  1. Treating codeine addiction starts with medical detox or medication-assisted treatment.

Before addiction treatment begins, medical detox or medication-assisted treatment through a high quality treatment program ends the physical dependence on codeine so that you can focus on treatment and recovery.

Medical detox involves allowing all traces of codeine to leave your body so that brain function can begin to return to normal. During medical detox, medications are administered as needed to help reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and shorten the time it takes to detox.

Medication-assisted treatment involves taking a less-psychoactive, synthetic opioid medication, either for the short-term or long-term, that prevents the onset of withdrawal symptoms altogether. While some people regard medication-assisted treatment as replacing one addiction with another, this method keeps intense cravings and withdrawal at bay so that individuals can focus their full attention on recovery.

  1. Codeine addiction treatment is far more complex than medical detox.

Detox only treats the physical dependence on codeine. Treating the codeine addiction requires intensive therapy that delves into the issues that underlie the addiction. Some of the most common underlying issues include chronic stress, mental illness, family dysfunction, and a history of trauma.

A high quality treatment program helps you:

  • Address the underlying issues behind the addiction.
  • Develop essential skills to cope with stress, cravings, and other triggers.
  • Identify dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns and learn healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
  • Find purpose and meaning in life and learn to have fun and enjoy life without codeine.
  1. Getting help now can save your life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999. In 2015, opioids killed more than 33,000 people, and prescription painkillers like codeine accounted for half of those deaths. The other half were the result of a heroin overdose.

Help is Available

If you have painkiller addiction symptoms and think you may have a codeine addiction, contact us today. We can help you find a high quality treatment program to help you end the addiction and restore your quality of life and sense of well-being.




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