What is Codeine Addiction?

What is Codeine Addiction

Are you worried that you or someone close to you is suffering from codeine addiction?  Help is at hand. Here we tell you a little about codeine, what to look out for and how we can get you or a loved one the best possible treatment.

What is codeine?

Codeine is an active ingredient found in some analgesics (painkillers) and cough syrups. Like morphine, codeine is an opiate, derived from opium. Analgesics with codeine are readily available as over-the-counter medications such as Co-Codamol. Street names for codeine include Captain Cody and Cody. Users can develop a physical and emotional dependency on codeine. It produces seemingly pleasant effects such as drowsiness and euphoria, and this can be addictive. The body’s tolerance to codeine can be quickly built up and users may find they have to take increasingly high doses to obtain the same effect.

Signs, symptoms and risks of codeine addiction

Taking codeine in accordance with medical instructions should pose no risk. However, taking it too frequently and in high doses may result in severe side effects. These include nausea, constipation, breathing problems and even seizures. Combining codeine with other drugs or alcohol is dangerous and could lead to overdose and, ultimately, death.  An addiction to codeine is all too easy to feed; users will frequent a range of pharmacists to obtain their “fix”.

Treatment for codeine addiction

Getting someone with an addiction to prescription drugs to accept help is difficult. Many users don’t realise they have an addiction.  The common image of a drug addict is of an individual “shooting up” in a seedy environment, not of someone taking tablets that are legally available. But addiction to codeine is very real. Addicts can take between 20 and 30 pills daily, or the equivalent in cough syrup. As a result, abrupt withdrawal can be painful and dangerous, leading to seizures and convulsion.  Detox should be carried out in a residential treatment centre or under a medically controlled home detox programme.  It is also important that a codeine addict addresses the psychological issues behind their addiction as part of their long-term recovery. At Addiction Helper, we’ll guide you through the available options for treating codeine addiction and give you and your family all the support you need.

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