Facts and Information About Codeine Addiction

Addiction is a powerful disease that has the ability to creep up on its victims unexpectedly. Drug use that starts as a recreational engagement that the user could take or leave evolves into an absolute necessity. In the instance of codeine addiction, acquiring the drug becomes imperative to functioning in society. Although many people associate codeine with prescription cough medicine, it can be abused. Codeine abusers seeking a high without the consequences of failing standard drug tests gravitate toward codeine. In other words, for those who are routinely drug tested by their employer, rehabilitation facility, or parents — codeine serves as an appealing method through which an altered reality is achieved without bending legality.

Although codeine is now illegal, low doses can still be found in over the counter cough suppressants. It is mind-altering in quantities that exceed product indications. Users report a high that mimics an “out of body” experience, blending thoughts and dreams with reality. The sensation of drifting in and out of consciousness is allegedly a common experience reported by codeine users.

Once the codeine abuser begins seeking out the drug despite an onset of negative outcomes, they have almost certainly crossed the line from experimentation to addiction. Signs of codeine addiction include the following:

  • Compulsively taking codeine despite best intentions to stop.
  • Lying to and manipulating friends and family members in order to mask codeine intake.
  • Buying large quantities of cough suppressants at the pharmacy when not sick.
  • “Doctor shopping” — bouncing from doctor to doctor, pretending to show symptoms of a cough in order to obtain a prescription for codeine-containing cough syrup.
  • Losing interest in school, sports, and other activities that once used to interest the codeine abuser.
  • An increased tolerance to codeine, i.e. requiring progressively higher doses of codeine to achieve the same effects.

Families may sense something is amiss when their son or daughter is missing curfew, hanging out with a suspicious new crowd of friends, withdrawing from family activities, and failing to meet various obligations. Parents should take caution if their son or daughter frequently returns home with bloodshot eyes, signs of drowsiness, and are uncharacteristically resistant to being social as compared to their usual disposition. Behaviors that are out of character for the codeine user indicate a possible addiction, especially if they involve:

  • Apathy
  • Deceit
  • Manipulation
  • Denial
  • Mood swings — shifting back and forth between irritability and contentment

Violent mood swings may stand out as the most notable indication of a drug addiction. . The codeine addict is in a good mood when they have ingested their fix of codeine, but when the supply runs out, their mood reflects the lack of chemicals in the body. Spending disproportionate amounts of money on the drug beyond what is feasibly reasonable for the individual is an additional signal that an addiction is in place.

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Common with codeine addiction is a co-occurring substance abuse problem. For example, someone who compulsively seeks out and uses codeine despite their desire to stop doing so, often combines codeine with other mind-altering substances. In some cases he or she will substitute another drug for codeine if the capacity to acquire codeine is compromised. Users report mixing codeine with alcohol, benzodiazepines, LSD and other hallucinogens to intensify codeine’s delusionary side effects. This is very dangerous as combinations of drugs can result in suppressed respiratory system, tremors, coma, and in severe cases, death.

For an individual addicted to codeine, the capacity to stop on his or her own volition is virtually nonexistent. Thankfully, drug treatment centers are in place to help the codeine addict recover from codeine addiction in a safe, sterile environment. Drug rehabilitation centers with ’round the clock care offer clients a medically monitored detoxification from codeine and other substances, followed by psychotherapy and the integration of emotional support systems.

Drug treatment centers are the safest place for codeine addicts to detoxify and recover from codeine addiction. Medical professionals may prescribe counter-indicative drugs to ease withdrawal symptoms associated with the cessation of codeine use. Withdrawing from codeine is an uncomfortable process. Staffed professionals are educated on the typical withdrawal period and help reduce symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Gastro-intestinal problems
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trembling extremities
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Depression
  • Agitation

Recovery from codeine addiction is attainable. An addiction is a nearly impossible demon to fight without the help and support of others. Recovering addicts find solace in rehabilitation centers where they are helped by other recovering addicts with years of sobriety under their belts. Having role models around them who have achieved success is motivating. Since addiction is a cunning and baffling disease, it is particularly comforting to surround oneself with those who have dealt with the challenges early sobriety brings and can empathize in a meaningful way.

Before discharging from the drug treatment center, recovering codeine addicts are taught coping mechanisms for which to deal with life’s stressors. These coping mechanisms are healthy methods of reducing stress and do not involve drugs.

Alternative ways to spend time are integrated into the client’s aftercare plan to preclude boredom, which can trigger a relapse. Clients leave rehabilitation refreshed and rejuvenated physically, emotionally and spiritually. Codeine addicts’ aftercare plan is inclusive of the following, generally speaking:

  • Relapse prevention techniques
  • Coping mechanisms
  • Trigger avoidance lists
  • Supportive contacts’ phone numbers and addresses
  • Accessible 12-step meetings

In light of the sobriety path ahead of them, recovering codeine addicts venture out into the world prepared to live a healthy lifestyle with a newfound sense of clarity and purpose.