What to expect when entering treatment for codeine addiction

If you are concerned about entering treatment for codeine addiction, finding out what happens in each stage of treatment can ease your fears. Addiction to codeine, a narcotic opiate medication that is frequently prescribed to treat minor to moderate pain, is a widespread problem in the United States. Codeine is one of the weaker opiates, which may actually contribute to the high rates of abuse because it is easier to obtain than other opiates, and many users believe that it is unlikely to cause addiction. In reality, codeine is made from opium so users experience the same euphoric, disconnected feeling that makes morphine and heroin so addictive, just on a more moderate scale. Codeine withdrawal creates the same unpleasant side effects as experienced with other opiates, which makes addicted individuals reluctant to enter treatment to overcome their addiction. Understanding what happens once you begin treatment may make easier to find the courage to start the recovery process from your codeine addiction.

Treatment for codeine addiction has four stages: assessment, detox, rehab treatment, and aftercare.

Stage 1: Addiction assessment

When you first enter treatment for codeine addiction, a chemical dependency counselor will assess the severity of your addiction. He or she will take a detailed history of your drug abuse and determine if you have any co-occurring substance abuse or psychological issues such as depression that will need to be addressed. Once that determination is made, the addiction specialist will formulate an individualized codeine addiction recovery plan for you.

Stage 2: Medically assisted detox

Detoxification is an essential step in your recovery from codeine addiction. Withdrawal symptoms including tremors, diarrhea, restlessness, nausea, and depression can begin within 12 hours after your last dose, and typically last for up to three to five days.  Addiction specialists can administer drugs that alleviate the short-term withdrawal symptoms and make them more bearable.

Stage 3: Addiction rehab and therapy

Once you have passed the acute phase of withdrawal from codeine (typically within five to seven days), you will begin learning new habits to replace the old drug abusing patterns along with strategies to avoid relapses. The most effective codeine addiction rehab centers provide a multidisciplinary approach that combines a variety of evidence-based treatments. Treatments may include cognitive behavioral therapy, group and individual therapy, and participation in peer support groups. Your family may be asked to participate in counseling sessions to help uncover the psychological factors that contributed to your addiction, and address any ongoing concerns that could interfere with your recovery.

Cognitive behavioral therapy will help you learn alternative coping strategies and techniques to prevent future relapses. Strict attention to nutrition and exposure to massage, yoga, meditation, and other alternative addiction recovery treatments can also be helpful in overcoming the depression, low-level restlessness, anxiety, and other long-term effects of codeine addiction that can linger for months or even years after recovery.

Stage 4: Aftercare

Once you have completed rehab, you may find it beneficial to continue your recovery through aftercare treatment at an outpatient center or at a sober living center (also known as a halfway house).  The residential option is particularly helpful for those with long-term addiction issues. During aftercare, you will gain practice employing relapse prevention strategies and learn how to take responsibility for your sobriety. If needed, some aftercare centers provide assistance and training in practical matters such as job hunting, budgeting, and other important skills. Attendance in twelve-step support groups can help you form supportive relationships and build a network of non-judgmental peers who are invested in promoting your recovery success.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.