Many people are under the impression that prescription drugs like codeine are 100% safe and not addictive. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Codeine and other opiate drugs/ opioid drugs can be just as addictive as street drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
There are several reasons why you may be prescribed the prescription drug codeine – the main being for pain relief.
Codeine impacts your central nervous system (CNS) by blocking certain signals from your brain to your body. Ultimately, this lowers your reaction to pain, making codeine an effective pain reliever.
If you are prescribed codeine for long periods of time, or if you abuse your prescription medication, then you increase the risk of becoming addicted to codeine. If you have a physical dependence on codeine, you should seek treatment.
Likewise, if you’re struggling to control your codeine use or you feel as though codeine is taking over your life, you should seek help. This is what we are going to explore on this page.
Continue reading this page to learn more about codeine addiction, codeine withdrawal, and the codeine detoxification process. We’ll also be discussing how you can take the first step towards recovery, and where to find the best codeine detox program for your situation.
Like other opioid pain relievers, codeine can be addictive. Codeine addiction can impact your life in many ways, including your physical and mental health. When you have a drug addiction, you likely abuse drugs – which can be damaging to your body. This can also increase the risk of having a drug overdose, which can be fatal.
You may be wondering how you became addicted to codeine in the first place. Well, when you take an addictive prescription drug for a long period of time, you may develop a tolerance to the drug.
You may notice that you need to take more of the drug to feel the same effect – which means your body will get used to a higher dose.
Ultimately, tolerance can lead to dependence. Codeine dependence is characterised by the need to take it – or not feeling ‘normal’ without the drug. You may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking codeine, alongside codeine cravings.
People who are addicted to codeine may also attempt to source codeine through illicit means or ignore their doctor’s advice on how to take the prescription. They may take other people’s prescriptions, or purchase them through drug dealers.
It’s important that you treat your codeine addiction before your life becomes affected further. Untreated codeine addiction can lead to a range of physical issues and can increase the risk of having an opioid overdose.
If you think you may be dependent on prescription medication, you should first speak to your doctor. They should advise you on the next best steps – including how to gradually lower your dose of codeine.
Read on to learn more about the codeine withdrawal process, and what to expect from opioid drug withdrawal/ opiate withdrawal. We’ll also be discussing the main symptoms of codeine withdrawal so you know what to expect when detoxing from codeine.
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Once you develop a physical dependence on codeine, you should expect to experience codeine withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop taking the drug, or when you go from a high dose of codeine to a low dose.
Be sure to discuss your circumstances with a medical professional if you wish to stop taking codeine – they will advise you on the best steps to take.
However, it can feel tough to break your addiction to codeine. This is where we can help. Our team can find the right course of treatment for you, so you can overcome your codeine addiction in the best possible way.
Codeine withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity – often depending on your addiction history. The length of time you experience withdrawal symptoms for/ the withdrawal symptoms timeline can also vary depending on factors such as your addiction history, medical history, and personal circumstances.
Continue reading to learn more about the physical symptoms and psychological symptoms of codeine withdrawal.
Codeine withdrawal symptoms are often mild to moderate, although you may experience severe codeine withdrawal symptoms if you have a severe dependence on the drug.
You should expect to experience a range of physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. Some physical symptoms of codeine withdrawal may include:
Your mental health and behaviour can also be impacted during codeine withdrawal. For example, some psychological withdrawal symptoms include insomnia (trouble staying asleep or falling asleep), mood swings, as well as irritability. You may also feel agitated during the withdrawal process.
Detoxification is the first stage of addiction treatment. Although you may be tempted to quit suddenly without help, quitting cold turkey can be dangerous – especially when you’re withdrawing from opioids such as codeine.
This is why we often recommend that people with codeine addiction undergo a medical detox – under the supervision of medical professionals. During medical detox, medical professionals may administer detox medication to help manage withdrawal symptoms.
As previously established, codeine withdrawal symptoms and opioid withdrawal symptoms, in general, can be particularly uncomfortable, which is why an inpatient detox may be the best option.
Detoxification can vary in length, depending on a variety of factors such as your medical history, the severity of your addiction, the length of time you’ve been dependent on codeine, as well as other personal factors (e.g height, weight, age).
The general rule of thumb is that the more severe the addiction, the longer it will take to detox. The same applies to the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
At Help4Addiction understand how difficult it can be to come to terms with addiction – as well as how overwhelming it can feel trying to find the right addiction treatment. This is why our addiction experts are here to help.
We’ll listen to your story, and discuss your preferences and requirements to source the right treatment plan for you. In most cases, detoxification alone is not enough to overcome addiction.
Detoxification only addresses physical dependence and addiction, which is why rehab programs also include therapy and secondary treatment.
Therapy can not only improve your well-being, mental health and confidence but teach you valuable coping strategies that can ultimately equip you against cravings and triggers.
Likewise, therapy can also give you insight into your addiction – for example, what events may have led to your addiction, and your addiction triggers.
There are many forms of therapy used in rehab – for example, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), group therapy, counselling, interpersonal therapy, family therapy, and more. We’ll source the right treatment plan for your circumstances.
Secondary treatment is also an important part of codeine addiction treatment. Also known as aftercare, secondary treatment aims at providing you with ongoing support throughout the course of your recovery.
This may include telephone and online support, continued counselling, group therapy, and more. Some people benefit from attending support groups – meeting with like-minded individuals can improve loneliness during recovery.
Contact our friendly team today to learn more about the detoxification process, and to start your recovery journey.
We’ll consider your preferences and requirements to source the right detox treatment plan at the best codeine rehab facility near you. You don’t have to overcome codeine addiction alone – we are here for you.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.
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