Codeine is a Schedule II opiate drug that is used for its antidiarrheal, antitussive and analgesic properties. When used for pain, it alters the way the brain and spinal cord receive pain, which brings on feelings of euphoria. It is the second-highest predominant alkaloid in the opium drug classification and is prescribed to relieve cough and to treat mild to moderate pain. It is also used as a recreational drug, which can lead to addiction and dependency. When used for a period of more than two to three weeks, addiction to codeine becomes a major risk. If you or a loved one is seeking codeine addiction treatment, consider the various options that are available.
Abuse Symptoms and Signs of Addiction
When you or a loved one has become addicted to codeine, the urge or desire for this drug is uncontrollable. There is also a physical dependence that occurs when a person is a chronic user. When this is the case, there are withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced when this person stops taking the drug. Some of these symptoms include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Pain in the muscles
- Profuse sweating
- Runny nose
“Some of the complications that are associated with codeine addiction include bleeding in the stomach, depression, hallucinations, damage to the liver or kidneys, nausea and lowered heart rate and blood pressure.”Addiction to codeine can occur for different reasons, one of which is from the initial use of the drug for pain relief. Patients who find themselves in pain may be prescribed a type of medication that contains codeine. If this is the case, the addiction can stem from a physical dependence that occurs when the patient continues to use the drug to treat and manage the pain. Some patients are unable to find a different medication to relieve the pain they are experiencing, so they continue to use codeine. The continued use of this drug builds a higher tolerance level that leads to physical dependency, addiction and the need for codeine addiction treatment. Others who become addicted to codeine may have begun to use the drug in order to experience a high.
When used for recreational purposes, codeine is sold by dealers or patients who are prescribed the drug. In addition to the signs and symptoms that one experiences when addicted to codeine, there are also effects on that person’s personal and social life. Some of the complications that are associated with codeine addiction include bleeding in the stomach, depression, hallucinations, damage to the liver or kidneys, nausea and lowered heart rate and blood pressure.
Adverse Effects of Abuse
When a person consumes codeine, there is the risk of experiencing adverse effects and allergic reactions. Because of this risk, it is important to understand the difference between side effects, allergic reactions and signs of abuse when determining if codeine addiction treatment is needed. Some of the common side effects that are associated with codeine consumption include:
- Urinary retention
- Orthostatic hypotension
- Dry mouth
- Itching and euphoria
A person who is experiencing an allergic reaction may experience skin rashes and swelling of the skin. Long-term effects of codeine use can include diminished libido and erectile dysfunction. Respiratory depression is another adverse effect that can occur with use of codeine, which is an effect that is potentially serious when a person has overdosed. It is also important to understand that codeine is turned into morphine when metabolized and can be passed through breast milk to an infant in lethal amounts. Experiencing these effects is not automatically cause for codeine addiction treatment unless signs of abuse and addiction are also present.
There are short-term and long-term effects of codeine that can be experienced. Some of the short-term effects include urinary retention and miosis, which is the enlargement of the pupils. Another short-term effect is respiratory depression, which is when your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure slow down to dangerous levels and is potentially fatal. Chronic use of this drug can lead to endorphin production slowing down or stopping altogether. When this occurs, it results in the user experiencing acute pain whenever codeine is not taken.
How Can You Get Clean?
Drug Rehab CentersRehabilitation centers treat those with a dependency or an addiction to psychoactive substances. Such substances usually entail alcohol in addition to both prescription and illegal drugs. Many rehab centers specialize in treating a certain kind dependency, which allows them to focus all their effort at helping a particular group of people with all of their specific needs. This results in high-quality treatment methods and in-depth expertise. Read More
Codeine rehab centers provide you with a wide range of options that start at codeine detox services and go through outpatient aftercare services. Some rehab centers provide you with specialized services at different locations while others offer every service at the same facility.
The first step that must be completed before admission into an actual codeine addiction treatment program is to detox. This is simply the process of waiting until the drug is out of your system. When going through the detoxification stage, the patient will experience withdrawal symptoms. Some drugs, such as codeine, should be tapered off of in order to avoid dangerous effects of withdrawal.When entering into the detox portion of the rehab center, the patient will be assigned to an addiction detox specialist. This medical professional is responsible for supervising the detox process to ensure that the codeine is not stopped abruptly.
An additional option for the patient is to obtain a prescription to stop all of the withdrawal effects that are usually experienced. This prescription is called Suboxone, and it helps patients experience a more comfortable detox. Once the patient has been detoxed, an individualized codeine addiction treatment program will be assigned.
There are various types of codeine rehab centers that are available in which you or your loved one can enroll. Some centers are designed as healthcare facilities with traditional steps towards recovery while others are based on religion, set up as day camps or organized as retreats. Most rehab programs you will find will consist of a combination of focus points for the patient to work on. Some of these points include:
- Life skills training
- Fitness and health training
- Drug and alcohol counseling sessions
The drug and alcohol counseling sessions occur on an individual and group basis so each patient receives the best possible care. Individual counseling sessions are designed to help each patient deal with the addiction and any underlying issues that may be the cause of the drug abuse. When patients participate in group counseling sessions, there are a number of topics that are discussed as a part of the codeine addiction treatment program. These topics generally include:
- HIV education
- Anger management
- Dual disorders
- Self esteem
- Life skills-interviewing skills, managing finances and time, setting goals and finding a job
- Drug-free pain management
- Relapse prevention
- Processing feelings
- Family conflict
- Grief and loss
- Coping skills
Some codeine rehab centers will have basic programs set up for inpatient or outpatient services, while other centers are more advanced. Comprehensive rehabilitation facilities have a three-phase program that is set up to ensure that patients go through every phase of the addiction recovery process. Each phase of the recovery process lasts for 30 days, with the first phase beginning after detox. The first phase of this codeine addiction treatment is for those who have just completed detox or are struggling with abstinence. This phase can include detox, if needed, and the patient will receive:
- 15 to 20 weekly group sessions
- Two weekly individual sessions
- Five weekly life skills coaching sessions
- Weekly food allowance
- Transportation to and from all services
- Television and Internet access
- Housing accommodations
- Community activities
- Health and fitness club membership
The second phase of the program is designed for those who have successfully completed the first 30-day phase. This phase is geared towards life skills coaching and preventing relapse. Patients in this phase will receive the same benefits as in the first phase with the following modifications:
- 10 to 16 weekly group sessions
- One weekly individual session
- Four weekly life skills sessions
The third phase of this type of codeine addiction treatment program is designed for patients who work or go to school. In order to be able to proceed to this phase, the patient must have been clean and sober for at least 60 days. This phase is less strict than the other two phases and is designed to be completed around the patient’s work or school schedule.
Detoxing from Codeine
A person who is addicted to codeine must first go through codeine detox before being admitted into codeine rehab. When a person uses codeine over a long period of time, the body becomes dependent on this substance, which leads to withdrawal symptoms when the drug is no longer being taken. Some of the withdrawal symptoms that are commonly experienced include:
- Muscle spasms
- Stomach cramps
- Runny nose
- Drug craving
In order to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms, patients are advised to gradually reduce the amount taken until the patients no longer consume the drug at all. This process should be done under the supervision of a medical professional. When detoxing, it is helpful to know which substances contain codeine so that you can avoid consumption altogether. Codeine can be found in over-the-counter products, such as some diarrhea-relief medications. This drug is commonly combined with other medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to provide the patient with greater pain relief.
Addiction Treatment Options For You
Various codeine addiction treatment options exist for you to choose from for you or your loved one. In order to choose the best treatment option, you must first understand the natural process of recovery from addiction. Understand that once the rehab treatment program is complete, the patient must continue to be involved with a support group in order to achieve long-term abstinence. This support group includes family members, close friends and medical professionals who help you through the process.
One of the first options to consider for codeine addiction treatment is a brief intervention. This consists simply of educating the user about addiction and making suggestions to change lifestyle patterns. The physician provides you or your loved one with educational materials so that all questions can be answered. The patient then returns to the physician in 30 days to report any progress that has been made. If the addiction has not been controlled, other means of codeine addiction treatment should then be considered.
The first step to take after the brief intervention is to enroll in a detox program to allow the codeine to get out of the system. It is ideal for the patient to enroll in inpatient detox services so that access to outside medication is restricted. If the patient must continue to work or go to school, detox facilities may allow outpatient detox services if the patient has a responsible, supportive and sober friend or family member who is willing to assist with medications and watch over the patient for serious withdrawal symptoms. This person will be responsible for providing the patient with enough medication, as scheduled, to taper off of the codeine. No more than two or three days’ worth of medication is dispensed at a time.
Some medications may be given to help ease the withdrawal symptoms that the patient experiences. When dealing with opiate withdrawal, the symptoms can be separated into four different stages:
Grade 0Intense drug-seeking behavior, anxiety and drug craving.
Grade 1Rhinorrhea, lacrimation, sweating and yawning.
Grade 2Anorexia, muscle twitching, gooseflesh and mydriasis.
Grade 3Weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, increased blood pressure, insomnia and increased respiratory rate and pulse.
Attending self-help groups is a codeine addiction treatment option that is designed to provide the patient with access to information and support from others in the same situation. Many of the support groups will implement the 12-step program, which gives the message that recovery is an ongoing process. Outpatient therapy and long-term residential treatment are two other options to choose from. Outpatient therapy allows the patient to continue to go to work and school while obtaining the necessary treatment and therapy. Residential treatment is ideal for those who are unsuccessful at outpatient treatment and others who need a stable environment to recover.