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Codeine Abuse Treatment, Addiction and Rehab

What is Codeine?

Codeine is an opioid often prescribed for pain relief. Because of its common use for back and other chronic pain, Codeine is highly addictive; in fact, the World Health Organization calls it the most commonly used drug. Codeine can be extracted from opium; however, it is most often synthesized from morphine.

This base drug can be found in many prescription medications, including the following:

  • Tylenol with codeine
  • Pirophen
  • Cough syrups (prescription and over-the-counter)
  • Codalgin
  • Nurofen Plus
  • Mersyndol
  • Panadeine

How does Codeine affect Abusers?

Codeine binds to receptors in the body’s central nervous system, the brain, spinal column and gastrointestinal system, and joins forces with the opioids that the body naturally produces like endorphins and enekphalins. Codeine can be ingested in liquid or pill form, and, in some instances, it is added to marijuana and smoked or even injected. It is not uncommon for Codeine to be abused in high doses as it results in feelings of euphoria.

How is Codeine abused?

Like many drugs, long-term use of Codeine can lead to increased tolerance. This leads many to self-medicate and takes more of the drug than prescribed, in an attempt to manage pain. This is what often leads to dependency and abuse.

A 2009 SAMHSA survey found that prescription drugs such as Codeine are the second most prevalently abused drugs in the United States with nearly 6.2 million users over the age of 12. This is likely because of the ease of obtaining prescription drugs from family, friends or even a physician. Fifty-six percent of prescription drug abusers reported that they received their drugs for free from friends or family and 18% obtained a prescription from their doctor.

What are the side effects of Codeine addiction?

The abuse of Codeine has many short-term side effects, including drowsiness, itching, vomiting, rashes, lack of sexual drive and/or erectile dysfunction, depression, constipation, dry mouth, nausea and, as mentioned, euphoria.

Codeine abuse can lead to respiratory failure and death. High doses of Codeine slow breathing, the heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous, and often fatal, levels. In addition, Codeine can be passed by breastfeeding mothers through breast milk in amounts that can be lethal to their children.

Codeine abuse can cause the brain to stop – or slow its production – of endorphins, which results in acute pain without the drug. Common symptoms of long-term Codeine abuse include high blood pressure, constipation, nausea and vomiting and itching, and can even lead to stomach ulcers and liver damage.

What are the withdrawal symptoms of Codeine addiction?

As is common with other opiate-based painkillers, if an individual addicted to Codeine stops taking it, withdrawal symptoms are common. Those symptoms include things like pain, chills, weakness, extreme irritability, runny nose, insomnia, muscle spasms, sweating, yawning, cramps and nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.


Codeine Addiction Treatment at Challenges

Challenges is a nationally recognized center of excellence for the treatment of substance abuse, addictions, dual diagnoses and relapse prevention. Our treatment programs are specifically designed with the needs of the individual patient in mind.

If you or someone you love is struggling with a Codeine addiction, we can help. If detox is needed, we can facilitate the needs of the client. The Challenges staff is highly trained and we are one of the oldest addiction treatment and relapse prevention centers, not only in the State of Florida, but also in the United States. If you or someone you love has a codeine addiction, we can help.

We have a wide variety of treatment programs available, including neurofeedback, massage, yoga, group sessions, full day/PHP Treatment, with or without structured living, extended care transitional treatment and intensive outpatient treatment, and ongoing alumni services and technology-enhanced aftercare to ensure continued recovery and support.

Our mantra is that “Relapse Ends Here” and we provide support and assistance necessary to back that up. Our goal is to provide clients with the tools they need to help them identify their own particular warning signs and trigger mechanisms. Concurrently, we help them prepare a concrete plan for success as they move out of the program and into the future.

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Call 1-888-670-5486 (Toll Free)

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