Speak to an Addiction Specialist

(888) 280-3348

  Call 24/7 For Help

Information on Codeine Addiction and Treatment Options for Recovery

When you think of problems with drugs, even prescription medications, you may not think of codeine addiction. This drug has been around for many years, and most people have no problem with it. You may not even realize that it has addictive properties that can harm people who have a tendency towards addiction or drug abuse. If this is the case and you know someone who is using this medication, you should learn the latest codeine information to help you understand how addiction happens.

Do You Have Questions About Codeine Addiction? Call Our Recovery Experts Now.

What is Codeine and How Is It Used?

Codeine is most often prescribed by doctors as a way to help with certain types of pain. It's very effective, and when you take it, it gives you a sense of calmness and even feelings of pleasure. It is usually combined with other types of medications, such as over the counter pain relievers or cough syrup.

Codeine is an opiate like morphine and heroin, which explains its addictive tendencies. It may be used to treat diarrhea. It's often combined with acetaminophen or aspirin and is considered to be a safe drug. Tylenol #3 and #4 both contain codeine. Codeine is listed as either a Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance. However, it is available over the counter in some states, but it's generally only found in low doses.

Some people are allergic to Codeine. They may experience itching, hives and a rash. They may also have difficulty breathing. It may be dangerous to take if a person has liver or kidney problems, suffers from Addison's disease or has had seizures.

As it enters the brain, the result is the release of neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain's reward center. The effects happen in a matter of a few minutes to a half hour, and it's the kind of pleasure that can easily lead to abuse and addiction. Codeine is frequently used because it works so well, but it's never intended to be used long term. Prescriptions for it are generally not refilled because of its addictive nature, unless doing so is deemed medically necessary.

If you've been using Codeine for a longer period of time than you were supposed to, it's very likely that you've become addicted to it. Stopping it abruptly can have dramatic effects on your body, and withdrawal symptoms are likely to kick in right away. Addiction treatment offers you a much safer way of stopping, so you can break this powerful addiction.

Codeine Addiction Information

Accessing Codeine

While the most common method of getting Codeine is through prescription, it's by no means the only way someone can get access if they are abusing the drug. They can steal another person's prescription or medication.

This drug can also be found on the street so you can obtain it illegally. Of course, it may not be known as Codeine through dealers. You'll hear a variety of other terms, such as Cody or schoolboy. If it is mixed with Tylenol, it may be referred to on the street as T1, T2, T3 or T4. T4 has the strongest mixture of Codeine present. Because the medication is commonly found in cough syrup, it may also be known as syrup on the street. Hard candy is often mixed in to give the drink a sweet taste so that it appeals to a young crowd. For this age group, Codeine and soda are a popular combination. One of the big dangers is how easy it is to take for someone who has never snorted or injected drugs before. It doesn't have to be painful to get high for a first-time user.

If you have a family member that you suspect of abusing this drug, it's important to know the street names. Calling the medication by a street name is one sign of abuse, and it can clue you in on what's happening as your loved one talks to friends in code.

Addiction Symptoms and Behaviors

It's quite common for people to form an addiction to Codeine without meaning to. In the backs of their minds, they may understand that it's potentially addicting, but when prescription drugs are concerned, their addictive qualities are often minimized. Unfortunately, that can make them even more dangerous than non-prescription or illegal drugs.

You may not be completely sure that you're addicted to Codeine, even if you've been taking it for a long time. However, there are certain symptoms you can look for, and these may include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • A sense of depression
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Frequent mood swings
  • A sense of calmness

Addiction behaviors are another indicator that abuse of this drug has moved on to become much more severe, and these behaviors might include:

  • Visiting a number of doctors to obtain prescriptions
  • Anger or even rage if the medication is gone
  • An increase in the number of hospital visits
  • A decrease in appetite
  • Forging prescriptions
  • Stealing prescriptions from friends or family members

If you notice any of the above, Codeine addiction is present, and it's important to get professional help so you can stop using the drug in a way that's safe for your body.

Even if you aren't addicted to the drug yet, you may be abusing it if you're taking it longer or more often than prescribed or if you are accessing it without a prescription. Abusing this drug can lead to several issues, including the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of memory
  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue

Never give the medication to anyone other than to whom it was prescribed. Keep it away from your kids and teenagers.

Even taking this drug the way it is meant can lead to many different side effects. In addition to the symptoms listed above, you may experience headaches, sweating, a racing heartbeat and changes in your vision.

You may have pain in your stomach and become dizzy. Some serious side effects of Codeine include a weak pulse and slow heartbeat along with a low blood pressure and shallow breathing. You may begin to hallucinate and become irritable. You can have a seizure, go into shock or cardiac arrest.

These are potential side effects for someone who is taking the drug as recommended. For someone who is using it to get high, the effects can be intensified. It's important to recognize these dangers before you start or to seek help if you are already abusing the drug before it gets out of hand.

The Latest Recovery News and Stories

Read great recovery stories, learn about the latest treatments, and find out how addiction affects yourself and your loved ones in our blog.

Read Our Blog

Combining Codeine with Other Drugs

It's common practice for people who are abusing drugs to combine them with other drugs for several reasons. Many times, they want to experience an even more intense high than what one drug will provide. They may want it to last longer as well. After prolonged use, the experience may lessen, so they will experiment with different combination to see which one has the best results.

Other times, a person may use a second drug to minimize the effects of coming down off the first drug. If they have taken something to increase their metabolism and give them energy, they may look for a second drug to help them relax.

Mixing Codeine with other drugs is common, and it can be harmful.

The most common combination is Codeine and alcohol. Both have similar effects on the body, such as slowed breathing and heart rate. The risk for cardiac arrest increases when you mix it with alcohol. It was a popular mix back in the 1990s when cough syrup which contained Codeine was mixed with alcohol, soda and hard candy. You could find the mixture at clubs and concerts where it was given the name Purple Drink. In fact, it was so popular that many artists included it in songs with a reference to syrup or purple drink.

You are at an increased risk for overdose along with other long-term effects, such as memory loss and damage to your organs when you combine Codeine with alcohol. You can end up in a coma or comatose state where you're awake but not responding to stimuli.

Combining alcohol with Codeine also makes treating an overdose more difficult. Because it is an opioid, naloxone may be used to stop the symptoms of overdose quickly. However, alcohol in the system may make it less effective.

Overdosing on Codeine

One of the risks for someone who is abusing this drug is overdose. They may be seeking more of those euphoric feelings and continue to increase the amount they consume. This is a dangerous drug to overdose on and death can be the result.

Some of the signs that someone may have overdosed on Codeine include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Cool and clammy skin
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Blue tinge to the lips or fingernails
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Loss of consciousness

If you suspect someone has overdosed on this medication, you need to call for immediate medical attention.

Drug & Alcohol Addiction Guides

Take an in-depth look into recovery topics with our amazing, up-to-date recovery guides.

Addiction Guides

Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms

If you're addicted to Codeine, please do not stop taking it abruptly. Doing so is likely to cause you more harm than good. It's best to stop using it under the supervision of trained professionals. That will allow them to intervene in the event of a medical emergency, and they can also utilize drug detox methods that will make withdrawal much easier on your body and mind.

All too often, people do decide to quit using Codeine on their own, and when they do, they usually experience several of the following:

  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • An ongoing runny nose
  • Intense sweating or chills
  • Moderate to severe stomach cramps
  • Severe agitation or irritability
  • Homicidal or suicidal thoughts
  • Racing thoughts
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Muscle cramps or spasms

Even though Codeine is a prescription medication that's frequently prescribed to patients who need it, when abuse becomes addiction, it's a serious problem. You don't have to go through these terrible withdrawal symptoms on your own, or outside of professional support. Getting help will certainly minimize your symptoms and keep you safe.

Getting Help with Detox

Because Codeine is a prescription medication, many people think that they can just stop taking it whenever they want with no problem. However, this is rarely the case if the person has become addicted.

It's important to understand what addiction and dependence mean. As you take more of an addictive drug, the cells in your body need it to function. They will get used to its presence in your body and look at this as normal. When you stop using the drug, the cells send messages to your brain that something's wrong.

Your body will then try to make things right by showing symptoms that say you need the drug. It's kind of like the body going into panic mode.

The withdrawal symptoms can vary from mild to severe, depending on how long you've been addicted and how much of the drug you've been using. You will usually go through two phases of withdrawal. The first phase begins anywhere from a few hours to the next day after your last dose. They include a runny nose, sweating, muscle aches, increased heartbeat and trouble sleeping.

As you enter the next phase, you'll experience stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhea and chills. These symptoms will usually go away within one to two weeks. Craving for the drug can last for several months.

When you go to a detox facility, you get help with detoxing from Codeine. You'll be monitored for 24 hours a day as medical staff watch for serious side effects that indicate a medical emergency. They can also give you medication to help with the symptoms. Some medications can reduce certain symptoms such as anti-diarrheal medicine while others may treat all withdrawal symptoms. You're less likely to relapse if you go through professional detox rather than trying to do it on your own at home.

Are You Addicted? Take a Quiz

Take one of our addiction quizzes to find out if you or someone you care about needs help today.

Medical Detox vs. Holistic Detox

There are two main approaches to detoxing. With medical detox, the person may be given a medication which is a less addictive form of opioid which will help reduce or stop the withdrawal symptoms. As the person completes the detox process, the medication will be reduced until they no longer need it.

The idea behind this method is that a person is less likely to relapse and will complete treatment if they don't have to go through the withdrawal symptoms. Particularly with opiate addiction, these symptoms can be quite intense. Medical detox is a safer way to deal with the problem and ensure the person completes treatment.

The down side for medical detox is the fact that addictive substances are often used as the medication. While they are deemed to be less likely to lead to an addiction, it can happen and the person must be weaned off them slowly. This increases the timeline for detox and the risk for a secondary addiction.

The other option is holistic detox. With this approach, no drugs are used. Instead, the focus is on getting the person healthy physically through nutrition and exercise. The idea behind this concept is that the body will be better able to get rid of the toxins and readjust to normal function on its own.

With a holistic approach, you may have a nutritionist plan your meals so that you are getting the nutrients that have been lacking in your body because of your addiction. You may also have a regular exercise routine which will help release endorphins in your body or the "feel-good" hormones which are similar to what you get with a drug high, only natural and healthier.

Holistic detox is gaining in popularity because there is less risk of future addiction, and it prepares the person for a healthier life after treatment. Studies show it has positive long-term results for recovering addicts.

Addiction Treatment After Detox

Once you complete detox, you'll probably feel really good. You'll notice you have more energy and are more excited to face the day. You may think you're cured from your addiction and can go back to your everyday life.

This is usually not the case for someone who is addicted to Codeine. Detox is only the first step in drug treatment. You must now complete the second portion of your treatment with therapy.

Therapy is an essential part of recovery for a drug addict, even one who was using prescription medications. As you do some research and compare treatment centers, you'll see different types of therapy available for your treatment. All programs begin with an assessment so the therapist can create a treatment plan to help you begin recovery.

You can expect to spend time in individual therapy with a therapist. This is where you'll do the hard work to dealing with your addiction. You will discuss what caused your addiction whether you started using recreationally or through a prescription. Many times, you may not be aware of the answer when you enter treatment. Through therapy, you will discover the underlying cause so you can prevent it in the future.

You may also address other issues in your life which had an impact on your addiction or that have been impacted from it. This may include family relationships, job performance and financial problems.

Group therapy is another popular type of therapy for drug addiction treatment. It's also often one of the most dreaded. People are afraid to open up about such a personal topic in front of strangers. They may be even more embarrassed when it was a prescription medication that led to addiction. However, you must remember that everyone else is in a similar situation as you.

Everyone is in group therapy because they are fighting an addiction. It may be an addiction to a prescription medication or an illicit drug, but they all have the same battle. Group therapy is a way to create a support network to help you deal with cravings and triggers for your addiction and to get tips and information about living your new life.

Sometimes a therapist will recommend family therapy to help an addict in their recovery. This may happen for several reasons. The person may need to deal with damaged relationships that were caused by the addiction. During therapy, the goal may be to heal those relationships to provide a support system for the addict.

Another reason for this type of therapy is because dysfunctional relationships may have led to the addiction and dealing with the issues can better prepare the person for life going forward. Sometimes family therapy is designed to help family members learn how to support the recovering addict and prevent relapse.

A focus on getting and staying healthy is important for recovering addicts. If they have been long-term addicts, they probably weren't taking care of their health and they now require better nutrition. Regular exercise can also help them deal with stress and other triggers that would usually lead to using a drug.

As a person gets in shape, they feel better about themselves and have more confidence. They are also more likely to work to maintain this new look, which will help them avoid relapse in the future.

In addition to these traditional therapies for addiction, you will find many treatment centers offer other types of therapy. They may be helpful for the person who isn't responding to treatment or for one who has reached a roadblock. They are often ideal for the addict who has relapsed more than once.

Some types of alternative therapy include the following:

  • Art or music therapy - allows the person to express themselves in nonverbal ways and to get their emotions out
  • Journaling - allows the person to use the written word to describe what they are feeling
  • Equine therapy - the person is able to interact with an animal to form a friendship which can be easier than relating to a person; it also gives them responsibility for someone who relies on them for care
  • Restorative yoga - helps the person learn how to breathe deeply and to relieve stress without the use of drugs

These are just a few examples of what may be termed alternative therapy in treatment programs. You may find one or more of these appealing to help you with your recovery.

Medication may be a necessary part of recovery from a drug addiction, especially if you were taking Codeine for pain before you became addicted. You will need to find a new way to manage your pain without using addictive painkillers.

You may also need medication if you have a mental health disorder. Many times, this can lead to addiction and the right medication can help.

If you have a mental health disorder and addiction, you have what is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. This is more common than you might think, and many people with a mental condition turn to drugs to self-medicate.

Because Codeine is an opiate, it's one of the most commonly used substances for dealing with a mental health disorder. A person who suffers from various conditions will often choose a drug that helps them mask their symptoms so no one else will know. It also provides them with some temporary relief until the drug wears off.

Some of the most common mental health conditions associated with co-occurring disorders include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • ADD
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

A person who suffers from a mental health condition may have a stronger tendency to addiction. They are more likely to relapse, especially if the mental condition isn't treated.

The best treatment for a dual diagnosis is a center that is specialized in this kind of issue. The person will receive treatment for both the mental health condition and the addiction at the same time. The treatment plan will include therapy for one or both conditions. They may also be prescribed a medication to treat the symptoms of the mental health condition in the right way.

When a person tries to use drugs to hide their condition, it may seem to work at first. The person may appear normal and healthy. Often, they are able to function because they have become adept at hiding symptoms from others, even close family. In time, the drugs will stop working because the body will have gotten used to it.

While treating someone with co-occurring disorders is more complicated and the risk of relapse is higher, it's possible for the person to enjoy long-term recovery and a productive, happy life. It's essential that they find a treatment center that is experienced in this area of drug addiction for the best care.

Choice of Treatment Options

When deciding on the treatment you need for your Codeine addiction, you should be aware that several options are available. The right choice won't be the same for everyone. It depends on the seriousness of your addiction, how long you've been addicted, how much support you have and other factors in your life.

With this option, you would attend therapy sessions a few times a week or according to the schedule your therapist provides. These sessions would last a few hours and then you would go about your normal routine.

You still get to receive all the same types of therapy as with inpatient care but you can go home and work or take care of the family. This option is best for someone who has a recent addiction or was only taking a small amount. They need a strong support system at home to keep them from relapsing while in treatment.

The most popular option for treatment is staying in a facility for your therapy. The time can be anywhere from a few days up to 30 days. During this time, you'll have a room and be provided with regular meals while attending therapy sessions.

The main benefit with this option is you are monitored and supported 24 hours a day. You're able to focus on your recovery with no other obligations to deal with. You also won't be exposed to your triggers until you're better equipped to handle them.

This type of treatment is similar to inpatient care, but it lasts longer. You may spend several months in treatment before going home. This option is designed for the person who has relapsed multiple times or the person who has been a long-term addict.

This option is a combination of inpatient and outpatient care. You go to a rehab facility every day and spend the entire day in therapy before going home at night. You are usually only allowed to go home with no outside contact at other locations until treatment is finished.

The benefit with this treatment is you can see your family at night while still focusing on your recovery all day. The only way this method works is for you to have a strong support system at night and for you to follow the rules and not leave the house.

You'll find all kinds of 12 step programs to help with drug addiction, including Narcotics Anonymous. With these programs, you attend regular meetings to get support with overcoming your addiction. You meet with others who have a similar problem and learn about addiction and how to avoid relapse.

These programs are often used along with other treatment or for continued support after treatment. They can also be helpful for those who have a lighter addiction or were abusing drugs but not addicted.

Dealing with an Addicted Family Member

If you have a family member you suspect is dealing with an addiction to Codeine, you want to help them get the treatment they need. It's important for you to understand what this drug is like when it's abused and what can happen. You should take addiction seriously and not just assume it's a phase they're going through, particularly if its your teenage child. Not only is it dangerous in its own right, but it can lead to other addictions as well.

When you have the right information on Codeine abuse and addiction, you can present some strong facts to the person. You can relay your concerns and encourage them to get help. If this doesn't work, you may need to look at having an intervention.

You've probably heard about interventions where family and friends get together to talk to the addict. You may not see how this will work when they ignore what you have to say. However, studies show that interventions are very effective at getting the person in treatment.

You can find professional intervention specialists who will teach you about this process and help you set it up. The best part is the fact that your loved one can usually go to treatment immediately following the intervention before they change their mind. It can be the catalyst that gets them to take the first step towards their recovery.

How to Choose the Best Treatment Programs

With so many options available to you, it may seem overwhelming. How do you know which one will work? You don't want to try one only to find out if wasn't the right fit when you relapse. It's important to do some research and to tour facilities so you can find the one that is right for your needs.

Affordable Drug Addiction Treatment

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free. Most health insurance providers pay 100 percent on the cost of drug rehab. In the past, this wasn't always the case, which meant drug treatment was often limited to those who were wealthy. Now, the Affordable Care Act has made it so all health insurance providers must cover drug treatment. If you don't have health insurance, we offer financing so you can still get the help you need.

Our Facility and Location

Northpoint Recovery is a state of the art, comfortable and modern inpatient detox and drug rehab facility designed to help our clients get the help they need to overcome addiction. Located in Boise, Idaho, we have multiple facilities to choose from close to where you work or live. We offer a customized treatment plan that is designed just for you and your addiction to increase your chances of success in winning this battle.

Some of the top rehab programs in the country are available to help anyone quit their use of this prescription medication, and they do so by utilizing a variety of methods. Holistic drug detox has been shown to be very effective in helping to rid the body of toxins that have been left behind by Codeine, and these toxins can be problematic for months if they're not removed. In addition, working with a therapist will help you address the reasons behind your addiction, and this is so important. In most cases, addiction occurs because of underlying problems that must be dealt with. Finally, group therapy is a component that's been shown to be very helpful for those who struggle with addiction. We also feature various alternative therapies to help with your treatment program.

Here at Northpoint Recovery, we believe in treating the entire person. We provide a nutritionist to create healthy meals and an exercise facility along with areas where you can walk. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to have a successful life after you leave treatment.

No matter how long you've been addicted to Codeine or any other drug or how messed up your life may seem at this moment, you can turn it all around with our help. Don't try to fight this battle alone or deal with more failures when you find you relapse. Take advantage of the resources available like our treatment programs to help you build a future you can be proud of.

As you consider getting treatment for your Codeine addiction, it makes sense that you would want to choose the best rehab program in the Pacific Northwest. Here at Northpoint Recovery, we pride ourselves in our ability to help patients who present to us with this type of addiction, and we have an excellent recovery rate. If you would like to learn more about how Northpoint Recovery can help you overcome your addiction, we'd love to talk with you. Please contact us.

Talk to a Rehab Specialist

Our admissions coordinators are here to help you get started with treatment the right way. They'll verify your health insurance, help set up travel arrangements, and make sure your transition into treatment is smooth and hassle-free.

(888) 280-3348 Contact Us