Amid all the media attention that heroin and Fentanyl receive, it’s easy to downplay the seriousness of the codeine addiction problem in the U.S. Doctors often prescribe this drug to suppress coughs or provide relief from pain. However, this narcotic drug is extremely addictive. It can even lead to death if a person overdoses.
The Effects of Codeine
If you use or abuse a medication containing codeine, you’ll quickly feel a sense of calm and well-being accompanied by short-term relief of any pain symptoms. This is because codeine causes your brain to release certain neurotransmitters that stimulate its rewards center. As a result, you may find that you have an increasing desire to use the drug. Over time, you’ll need more of it to get the desired effect, leading to codeine addiction.
Another issue with codeine is that many people eventually use it in conjunction with other substances. They may combine it with alcohol or benzodiazepines to intensify and lengthen their feelings of calm and well-being. Other people might mix codeine with stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine to reduce the effects of the stimulants. This rollercoaster cycle of uppers and downers can lead to potentially fatal conditions including heart failure and stroke.
Finally, someone suffering from codeine dependence may become dependent on street drugs such as heroin or Oxycontin in order to increase the intensity of the high. Doing so isn’t only physically dangerous but can also lead to arrest and imprisonment.
Symptoms of Codeine Abuse
The symptoms of codeine addiction depend on how much of the drug an individual uses and how long they’ve been using it for. Symptoms may include the following:
- Mood swings
- Depression or anxiety
- Drowsiness and increased time sleeping each day
- Apathy about people or activities
- Physical symptoms such as dizziness, constipation, muscle twitches, dry mouth, itching, seizures and appetite loss
- Hallucinations or delusions
- Memory loss
Lasting Effects of Codeine Addiction
Users, many of them young, mistakenly believe that using lean drink or other prescription codeine cough suppressants with sugary soda drinks and hard candy is harmless. Several celebrities and athletes have glamorized the use of these substances. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the potential for addiction until it’s too late. The long-term effects of codeine addiction can include the following:
- Pancreas, kidney and liver damage
- Uncontrollable muscle twitches
- Heightened sensitivity to pain
Dependence on codeine is a serious problem that affects you physically and psychologically. When you decide to stop taking the drug, you shouldn’t attempt to do so on your own.
Understanding Codeine Addiction Treatment
Codeine addiction treatment is a process that helps individuals overcome physical and psychological dependence on the substance. Treatment can include medication-assisted therapy, behavioral therapies and rehab programs. Through these treatments, individuals learn to manage their cravings for codeine and develop healthy coping mechanisms for managing difficult emotions or situations without relying on drugs.
By addressing the underlying causes of addiction, individuals can learn to live a life free from codeine and other substances. Treatment helps people gain control of their lives and build confidence in themselves and their decisions. With the proper treatment, those suffering from codeine addiction can lead a healthy, happy and productive life.
Through medication-assisted therapy, individuals are able to reduce the severity of their withdrawal symptoms and cravings. This type of treatment is supervised by a medical professional who can adjust medications as needed. Behavioral therapies focus on understanding and changing an individual’s addictive behaviors. During rehab programs, individuals learn how to cope with triggers that could lead to relapse. Through group and individual counseling, individuals can learn how to take responsibility for their actions and develop healthier coping skills.
Codeine addiction treatment is the pathway toward a healthier lifestyle. By identifying the underlying causes of addiction and developing healthy coping mechanisms, those struggling with codeine addiction can start to rebuild their lives free from drugs.
Reaching Out for Help for Your Codeine Addiction
The codeine addiction experts at Crestview Recovery understand all aspects of your dependence. We recognize that each person is an individual and that everyone’s addiction stems from a unique set of environmental, physical and psychological conditions. Bearing this in mind, we’ll work with you to craft an individualized treatment plan that will help you get to the root of what caused your addiction. In the meantime, you’ll learn to make and maintain healthy relationships with those around you.
Our beautiful, 30-bed facility is located in Portland, Oregon. We encourage all of our clients to participate in a full menu of activities, all designed to promote healing and a sober future. We offer the following:
- Comprehensive medical, psychological and addiction evaluation
- Detox offered off-site
- Evidence-based individual and group addiction therapies
- Social and recreational activities including whitewater rafting, skiing, and snowboarding
- Outpatient and follow-up services
If you have an addiction to codeine or other opiates, you’re carrying a heavy burden that you don’t need to bear on your own. Instead of watching helplessly as your life spirals out of control, call the compassionate and knowledgeable addiction experts at Crestview Recovery. We’ll partner with you to put your destructive dependency behind you, furnishing you with the tools you can use to lead a healthy, productive and sober life. Contact us today at 866.262.0531 to take the first step toward reclaiming your life.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.