We treat Codeine addiction

Codeine is a very strong painkiller that calms the user, causing lethargy and confusion when used long-term. It can cause mental health to deteriorate as the addict seeks greater relaxation.

Understanding Codeine addiction

  • Codeine is a painkilling opioid drug that is prescribed by a doctor to treat pain following a medical procedure such as an operation, or an injury that causes ongoing pain and discomfort.
  • It is stronger than over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, and is often prescribed when other painkillers haven’t been successful in treating pain.
  • Codeine can also be used to treat digestive issues (mainly diarrhoea), and is often included in cough syrup (linctus) to treat dry or chesty cough symptoms.
  • Codeine comes in various forms, including liquid formula, tablets, and injections. Injections are usually only administered by medical professionals in hospital.
  • Codeine should be taken with or following a meal so that the eaten food lines the stomach and prevents feelings of nausea.
  • Street names for Codeine include Cody, Captain Cody, Schoolboy, Lean, Sizzurp, Drank and Cough Syrup.
  • Codeine gets to work in the system by preventing pain signals from traveling to the brain.
  • People taking the drug on prescription commonly notice side effects such as constipation, nausea and feeling tired. These side effects worsen if the drug is taken with alcohol.

What are the effects of Codeine abuse?

As Codeine is an opioid drug, it causes extreme feelings of drowsiness, lethargy, relaxation and calm. It can also cause confusion, nausea and itchiness if it is being taken on a regular basis. Those under the influence of Codeine often look as though they are ‘spaced out’ or falling asleep.

Long-term abuse of the drug however can make feelings of anxiety and depression even worse, especially as the drug wears off.

Major signs of Codeine abuse include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling very sleepy and confused
  • Bleeding from the stomach

What are the warning signs of a Codeine addiction?

The following are warning signs that are related to Codeine addiction.

You or someone you love should seek help if you notice:

  • Often feeling extreme fatigue/feeling ‘out of it’ and drowsy
  • Nonsensical and slurred speech
  • Low attention span
  • Dilated pupils
  • Difficulty with co-ordination
  • Confusion
  • An intense craving for Codeine
  • Defensive behaviour
  • Seizures / Coma

What are Codeine withdrawal symptoms?

As Codeine doesn’t last long in the body, people who use large amounts of it on a frequent basis may find that they begin to experience the following withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. Ultimately, such withdrawal symptoms cause individuals to take more of the drug to relieve themselves.

Such symptoms include:

  • Feeling cold and chills
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Shaking
  • Rash on skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling generally irritable
  • Lack of appetite

How to support someone with Codeine addiction

As Codeine is not a harmful drug when it is first prescribed and used in the correct way, users who abuse the drug may believe that it is generally less harmful, even when more than the stated dose is taken. Relationships with friends and family are put under great strain when a person has a drug addiction. It is also common for addicts to struggle with work commitments, family commitments and other responsibilities like running a household.

It is important to speak to the addict about their addiction and try to convince them to seek help. Try and get other friends and family members involved too so that the addict has a support network. Another alternative is to stage an intervention. Those suffering from addiction are often in denial that they require help. They may not recognise the negative impact that their addiction is having on themselves and others around them. An intervention gives an addict the opportunity to make changes before their addiction becomes worse and can motivate them to get help.

What is the treatment of Codeine addiction?

How a Codeine addiction is treated will depend on its severity, but treatment will always be tailored to the needs of the patient. Usually, most treatments involve a combination of counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and group or speech therapy to share experiences with others. Many former addicts find that these types of treatments enable them to stay on track with their progress into the long-term. Holistic therapy such as medication, mindfulness, art therapy and yoga also help patients to cope with their cravings and triggers.

Treatment often begins once a detox has taken place to properly remove Codeine from a person’s system. Medications administered by health professionals can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms, making the treatment process more comfortable. Talking and behavioural therapies are a strong focus of ongoing therapy, so that an addict can notice the causes of their addiction and tackle these at the core, healing body and mind in turn.

Medically supervised Codeine detox

A detox is a process in which all traces of a drug are removed from the body to ensure that a person can start the therapy and counselling stage of drug rehabilitation. If a person suffers from a Codeine addiction, they are used to the drug being in their body. During the detox process, their brain needs to adjust to chemical changes that take place in their body as the drug is removed. This change in chemical balances is what causes withdrawal symptoms, which can be both unpleasant and uncomfortable as the body tries to naturally heal itself and balance out the chemical shifts.

During the detox process at East Coast Recovery, clients are made to feel as comfortable as possible. As a detox in a rehabilitation facility is supported and supervised by medical professionals, the rate of success is extremely high and the detox itself is a much safer process than if a person tries to detox by themselves at home. Detoxing at home is rarely successful, and can cause a person to crave a drug to extreme levels as the drug is removed from their system.

When COVID restrictions allow – we can offer you a private tour

Just in case any concerns about staying with us still remain, we offer every client – and their family members – the opportunity to visit our recovery centre and residences with no obligation, free of charge.

Book an appointment with us and we will happily welcome you to the centre and give a guided viewing with a member of staff, which can help put to rest any remaining fears or anxieties surrounding the rehab experience. Contact our assessment and admissions team to book your visitation slot today.

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