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Codeine Addiction

Codeine is the most commonly used prescription opioid around the world. Codeine is powerful enough to be an effective treatment for many illnesses, which is why its usage is so high. Yet, with it being so accessible, there is a large opportunity for codeine abuse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with the effects of codeine abuse, it is important to understand how this prescription opioid can lead to dependency and addiction. After learning about the symptoms and risks of codeine addiction, you can gain a better understanding of your options for treatment and recovery.

codeine addiction

What Is Codeine Addiction?

Codeine addiction occurs when a person becomes physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. This is because codeine is a habit-forming prescription opioid with a great potential for causing addiction. As with other opioids, the drug activates the opiate-sensitive brain neurons and blocks pain receptors. For people taking the right prescription to battle pain, the effect is maintenance. With that said, anyone abusing the substance will feel a rush of dopamine. 

Abusing codeine can trigger the feeling of euphoria and relaxation because it releases dopamine in the brain’s reward system. If a person continues to abuse codeine, their brain will get used to the drug and develop a tolerance. This means that the person will need to take more and more codeine to feel the same effects.

At this point, people typically follow one of two paths to addiction: take higher doses of codeine to feel the same effects or switch to more powerful illicit drugs like heroin. Regardless of the path a person takes, they are at risk of becoming dependent on opioids. Once someone is dependent on codeine, they begin experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms every time their dosage wears off. As a result, people struggle to quit abusing codeine on their own.

If you or someone you know is struggling with codeine abuse, please reach out for help today.

Why Is Codeine Addictive?

Codeine is a prescription painkiller that can be safely managed, but misuse can lead to codeine addiction. Codeine is prescribed for a range of mild to severe health issues, including pain, persistent cough, and diarrhea. In medical settings, this opioid medication can be prescribed on its own or in combination with other medications. 

Generally, low doses of codeine are often combined with other medications, like Ibuprofen or Aspirin with codeine. This is because mixing codeine with over-the-counter painkillers makes their effects stronger and more effective in the treatment of mild pain. Most of the time, codeine is meant to be a short-term medication for relief from short-term illnesses like the common cold.

Due to the highly addictive nature of codeine, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes it as a Schedule II or Schedule III narcotic under the Controlled Substance Act. Prescriptions that contain large amounts of codeine pose a higher risk of abuse. As a result, codeine medications can only be acquired by prescription and are not sold over the counter. As a natural opioid derived from the opium poppy plant, codeine shares similarities with morphine and heroin. Like other powerful opioids, codeine abuse can result in dependency and addiction.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of
Codeine Addiction?

Abuse of opioids usually leads to particular signs and symptoms since all derive from the same root ingredients. Yet, codeine abuse can cause a specific set of indicators, too.

Along with the general effects of opioids, signs of codeine abuse including physical symptoms such as:

Behavioral symptoms of codeine abuse include:

Psychological symptoms of codeine abuse include:

Depending on certain factors like genetics, health, and polysubstance abuse, a person may be more or less impacted by each symptom. The long-term effects of codeine abuse can also continue far past the time that a person expects. Even after codeine is removed from a person’s system their body, symptoms may stick around. 

It’s challenging to recover from codeine addiction on your own because the withdrawal symptoms that occur while quitting are intense. For this reason, withdrawal symptoms are big deterrents keeping people from becoming sober.

Codeine Addiction Facts & Statistics

Codeine is one of the most used prescription opioid pain relievers. As a result, people of all ages recieve prescriptions and run the risk of becoming addicted. Unfortunately, cultural messages about codeine have increased its recreational usage among younger people. For instance, rap singers popularized the abuse of codeine cough syrup mixed with alcohol or sprite, referring to the dangerous cocktail as “purple drank” since the 90s.

In 2019 alone, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found approximately 9.7 million people 12 and older misused prescription painkillers like codeine. Among those who abused prescription painkillers, 567,000 were between the ages of 12 and 17, and nearly 7.5 million people aged 26 and older. 

Due to the potentially lethal effects of opioids, the greatest risk associated with codeine abuse is overdose. In 2021, almost 17,000 people died from prescription opioids like codeine, as found by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Aside from the worst-case scenario of overdose death, codeine abuse can have lasting negative results on psychological health.

Why Is Codeine Dangerous?

Codeine abuse can have a profound impact on every aspect of a person’s life. This potent narcotic painkiller not only alters brain function but also poses the risk of addiction. When used routinely or abused, opioids like codeine can lead to tolerance, where higher doses are needed to achieve the same effects. As individuals continue to abuse codeine and their tolerance increases, psychological dependence can develop, creating a belief that the drug is necessary for normal functioning.

Long-term codeine abuse often results in physical dependence, or addiction. Without codeine, individuals experience withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe, making it challenging to stop misuse. With prolonged abuse, the likelihood of life-threatening complications such as:

Codeine addiction can drive individuals to engage in risky behaviors, including purchasing from unreliable sources or seeking out stronger drugs when their supply diminishes. These actions further jeopardize their health and well-being. 

Not only does codeine effect a person’s mental and physical health, but it can also result in life-altering effects including:

While people rarely understand the consequences of codeine abuse when they start, the negative impact can destroy every aspect of their well-being.

Seeking help for codeine addiction is crucial for anyone grappling with its misuse. With the right support, it is possible to overcome codeine addiction safely and effectively.

Self-Assessment: Am I Addicted?

Codeine Addiction and Mental Health

Individuals sometimes use codeine to self-medicate their symptoms of poor mental health like feelings of stress, anxiety, trauma flashbacks, or hyperactivity. The sad irony is codeine abuse can lead to the development of mental issues and exacerbate pre-existing ones, like paranoia, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. People who take the exact dosage they were prescribed by their doctor for medical issues don’t face the same level of risk. However, as soon as they misuse their prescription, they place themselves on the path towards potential addiction. 

Those with mental illnesses are more likely to abuse substances like opioids. This is because substances have a self-medicating effect where they numb pain, including psychological distress. According to SAMHSA, an estimated 3.6 million people had both a substance abuse disorder (SUD) and serious mental illness in 2019. This population is especially at risk of overdosing because drugs cloud one’s mental clarity and feel good upon first use. Yet, as discussed, tolerance and dependence are easily formed due to such pleasurable effects.

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When Do You Need Codeine Addiction Treatment?

You can overdose on codeine even if you aren’t addicted to the substance. Codeine is commonly used in pharmacy cold and flu medicines, so people often underestimate the drug’s power. If a person’s dose is too high, they may experience dangerous overdose symptoms like trouble breathing, slowing brain activity, and even coma.

 With that said, here are signs that you may need codeine addiction treatment:

If you resonate with any codeine abuse symptoms, or see signs in someone else, you need to look for help. Believing you can handle it on your own or putting off treatment could be the difference between life and death. Receiving help for your codeine addiction is often the only way to overcome the cycle of abuse and withdrawal. Fortunately, there are many different types of drug rehab programs available so you can access the best option that fits your individual needs.

How Long Is Codeine Addiction Treatment?

The actual detoxification stage of codeine addiction treatment lasts about a week. This step is crucial to successfully remove the toxins from your body so you reach sobriety. Withdrawal symptoms intensify and peak around the third day. Day seven is usually when the body is cleansed and operating without drug influences. From this point, treatment progresses through the inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare steps. The length of total treatment varies depending on the individual, but people are invited to work through the levels to undercover the reason for their addiction. 

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Codeine Addiction Treatment Options

Treatment for codeine addiction starts with detoxification, to safely remove the toxins from your system. Following detox, you can work through continuing levels of care. Residential inpatient treatment is the next step, where you work with your clinical team and case managers within your individualized treatment plan. During this stage, programming focuses on group and individual therapies to help you identify the underlying reasons behind your addiction. 

After inpatient treatment, you can transition into lower levels of care such as partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient. Finally, you can join an outpatient program to continue receiving recovery resources with the least amount of restrictions. During these programs, you can return home or stay in a sober living home. By progressing through the different levels of care, you can recieve the full benefits of what codeine addiction treatment has to offer. 

No matter which treatment option you choose, the goal of codeine addiction treatment is to help you identify triggers and equip you with the skills needed to live a healthy, sober life. If you are seeking a comprehensive approach to codeine addiction treatment, there are several resources available to start your journey to recovery.

Codeine Addiction Treatment at
Royal Life Centers

At Royal Life Centers, we believe all forms of addiction have an impact on a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health, our comprehensive care programs take a holistic approach to healing. Offering treatment that focuses on each aspect of a person’s well-beingmind, body, and spiritour codeine addiction treatment addresses the whole person.

During treatment at Royal Life Centers at Spokane Heights, you gain access to a comprehensive range of addiction treatment programs including:

No matter where you are in your recovery, Royal Life Centers’ full continuum of care can prepare you for a life of sobriety. With this in mind, we provide comprehensive care to treat alcohol and drug addiction from the beginning to the end of your time with us. After guests complete our programming, they stay part of the Royal family for life and have a supportive network. 

If you recognize any signs of addiction in your life, don’t wait to get help. You deserve to live a full, healthy life outside of codeine addiction. You can fill out a contact form today and we will help you get there. 

What To Expect During Treatment
at Royal Life Centers

Royal Life Centers works to provide a comfortable experience for guests so our facilities feel at home during their time with us. As such, we provide state-of-the-art centers with chef-prepared meals, cozy bedrooms, and common rooms with amenities. During programming, guests work with empathetic, highly-trained counselors who treat them as people first — not their addiction. 

During inpatient treatment at Spokane Heights, we provide intensive group and individual therapy sessions to help you heal. We know early sobriety is a critical time in the recovery journey. Therefore, guests unpack the roots of their addiction and engage in trust-building and self-expression activities as part of healing. 

Codeine Addiction Treatment in Washington State

As a part of Royal Life Centers’ network of addiction treatment centers, Spokane Heights is our detox and inpatient treatment facility in Spokane, Washington. After completing treatment in our inpatient programs, we also invite you to explore the array of other codeine addiction treatment options available nearby. 

Our codeine addiction treatment centers in Washington include:

At our center, we offer a comprehensive range of care services. This allows our guests to seamlessly transition between centers, ensuring a smooth and effective recovery journey. Throughout your treatment with us, our experienced staff will provide guidance and support in making positive lifestyle changes. In doing so, you can lead a healthier and more fulfilling life in recovery from codeine addiction.

We understand that recovery is a journey, and we are here to provide support in every way possible. For more information on our treatment centers and how you can get help today, call our 24/7 admissions team at 888-907-0898.

Looking for Codeine Addiction Treatment Services?

If you or someone you love is struggling with codeine addiction, please reach out to us to find out more about how our opioid detox services can help. We work with most private insurance policies and offer affordable self-pay rates if you do not have insurance. Give us a call and we will figure out the best treatment plan for you or your loved one.
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codeine addiction

Would you like more information?

If you or someone you know has a substance use disorder, we hope you’ll begin your journey with us at Royal Life Centers.

If you would like to learn more Other Resources

Detox Program at Royal

The first step in drug and alcohol treatment is a detox program. During this level of care, you will undergo the detoxification process that will remove the toxins from your body while starting your time in therapy.

Residential Treatment at Royal

Our residential inpatient program aims to identify the underlying causes of addiction. Our clinical care includes intensive therapy, addiction education, goal-setting, and the development of healthy coping skills. 

Can Medication-Assisted Treatment Help Me?

During treatment for addiction at Royal Life Centers, we provide medication-assisted treatment services to ease the symptoms of withdrawal and curb cravings. Learn how these services can help you stay sober.

What Services are offered in Rehab?

Read a comprehensive guide on the services you can participate in when recovering from addiction. As you progress through the different levels of care, you will experience the benefits of evidence-based care.

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