Codeine is like morphine in its chemical structure, but because it has only a fraction of morphine’s potency, it is considered a weaker version of an opioid painkiller. It can be used in treating mild to moderately sever pain and can also be procured without a prescription in some countries. To increase its effectiveness, codeine is sometimes mixed with aspirin or acetaminophen. A few cough suppressants also contain codeine.
Signs and Symptoms of Codeine Addiction
It can be difficult to detect a codeine addiction. Most people who start using codeine under medical supervision are unaware that their body is developing a substance dependence. It is prescribed as a painkiller mainly because its side effects are not as severe as other opioid painkillers.
However, with long-term usage the risk of codeine addiction increases. If you have a loved one who is taking codeine on a regular basis you should be aware of the signs and symptoms that are associated with codeine addiction. It is always a good idea to monitor your intake of codeine or any such opioids to ensure that it has not turned into an addiction.
How an individual gets addicted to codeine will vary from person to person. However, there are a few underline physiological effects that all addicts will experience. These are as follows:
Tolerance – Once the body gets used to codeine on a regular basis, it develops a tolerance, meaning more codeine will be required to get the same effects. Ultimately, it will lead people to take higher doses of codeine to get over the tolerance.
Fixation over getting more codeine – If you have a problem with codeine, you may be preoccupied with getting as much of the drug as you possibly can. You may even show signs of frustration and anger when you are unable to get the drug, even when you don’t have any medical need for it.
Using Codeine compulsively – If you are dependent on codeine, you may want to use it even when you have no medical reason to do so. You may go out of your way to procure a prescription, like visiting different doctors or going to different pharmacies to get the drug.
Withdrawal – A clear cut sign of addiction and dependence on a drug is withdrawal. If you are unable to get codeine and you experience withdrawal symptoms, it means you are addicted to codeine.
Other signs of codeine addiction are as follows:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Loss of interests in activities that were enjoyed previously
- Cold sweat
- Clammy hands and feet
- Problems in physical coordination
- Mood Swings
- Confusion and cloudy thinking
- Changes in sleeping patterns
It is crucial to know the signs and symptoms of codeine addiction in order for you to get the best treatment for the codeine user.
Long-term effects of Codeine use
Using codeine regularly for long periods of time may lead to side effects that can potentially be life-threatening. The side effects vary from person to person but most users will exhibit a mix of the following:
- Sleep disorders (Insomnia, sleep apnea, etc.)
- Constipation, stomach ache, and bowel dysfunction
- Increased chance of infectious diseases if taken intravenously
- Erratic heart rhythms
- Mood swings
- Lowered respiration rate and oxygen levels
- Coma and permanent brain damage
- Codeine withdrawal symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms are bound to appear whenever you become dependent on a physically addictive substance and stop using it. The range of withdrawal symptoms for codeine use can be mild or severe, depending on the amount of time the user has been using codeine, the dosage, and the body’s reaction to it.
Although the withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable for the user, they are usually not life threatening. Codeine users who have existing health problems may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms. Some of these may include the following:
- Mood swings
- Watery eyes
- Insomnia, restlessness
- Stomach cramps
- Vomiting and nausea
- Appetite and weight loss
- Aches and pains
Codeine addiction treatment
A lot of Americans do not know of the damaging effects that Codeine addiction can have on their lives. It is possible to get Codeine without a prescription in many countries. It is believed that stress is the main factor behind the increasing number of codeine addictions.
Codeine abuse and addiction begins at the point when people start to neglect the guidance of the doctor or pharmacist. As is the case with most prescription medication, addiction is the compulsive use of the drug in spite of the many dangerous consequences that might start to manifest.
What does Codeine addiction treatment do?
The main goal of codeine addiction treatment is to help the user with the detoxification process, as well as the psychological reasons for the addiction. Recovery from addiction, therefore, facilitates the understanding of codeine abuse and how a user can go about changing behaviors. Treatment facilities also provide a strong support system to help them through recovery.
What to expect from an Addiction Treatment Program?
Once you begin your codeine treatment at an addiction treatment facility, you may go through a step by step treatment process. These steps may include:
- Assessing the amount of codeine intake
- Detoxification and removal of Codeine traces form the body
- Group therapy and individual counselling
- Planning and participating in aftercare programs
Initially, your codeine intake will be measured after which the nature of your addiction will be assessed. In addition, considering your medical history and insurance coverage, a treatment program will be provided that will be best suited to your needs.
Secondly, a physical detoxification will take place which will be closely monitored by the medical professionals. During this process, your body will rid itself of all traces of the drug. The following step involves a series of individual and group therapy sessions.
At a later stage of the treatment program, members of your treatment team will start to help you with aftercare planning to ensure recovery once the treatment ends.
Different types of Addiction treatment facilities
The rehabilitation facilities come in three different categories. These are:
- Luxury treatment facility
- Executive treatment facility
- Standard treatment facility
Luxury – Luxury treatment facilities provide a 24/7 addiction treatment in a residential care setting. These treatment facilities provide amenities that are similar to those provided in a resort which make the process of recovery easier and more comfortable.
Executive – The executive treatment facilities are similar to luxury treatment facilities. They only difference is that executive treatment centers also cater to professionals who have a busy work life. These facilities provide all the resources that these professionals might need and lets them work while they are being treated.
Standard – Standard treatment facilities have the same quality of addition treatment as the other two. The only difference is that there are no extra amenities. This makes the standard treatment more affordable for people looking to get addiction treatment.
Standard treatments can take place in either an inpatient or an outpatient setting. There are advantages and disadvantages as well as specialized treatment options for each type.
Inpatient treatment for Codeine Addiction
In an inpatient treatment program, the individuals are required to stay at the facility 24/7 while they get treated for their addiction. Inpatient treatments are crucial for patients who have a greater physical dependence on the drug and require medical supervision as they go through detox and withdrawal. These are usually the more expensive option of the two programs since living and food expenses are also taken into account. The inpatient programs are recommended for the following reasons:
- People suffering from graver forms of addiction
- People who have been addicted for a long time
- People who have had a history of being in a rehab program but relapsed.
Outpatient treatment for Codeine Addiction
Outpatient treatment allows the addicted user to live at their own homes while they receive treatment. This provides them more flexibility and freedom compared to an inpatient treatment program. Outpatient treatment is ideal for people who do not have a major physical dependence on Codeine but may have some psychological dependence on the substance.
In order to combat the psychological reasons for addiction, patients regularly see their counselors and medical professionals in addition to attending group therapy sessions. Outpatient programs are less expensive than their inpatient counterparts. It also allows the patients to focus on their family lives and daily jobs while they get treated for their addiction.
Codeine may be a relatively milder drug compared to other opioids but its potential for addiction is quite high. You don’t have to live with codeine addiction and abuse. Treatment is always available that can help turn your life around by allowing you to make necessary changes to beat the addiction and start a new life.