Addiction and Other Effects of Abusing Codeine

Some drugs are hard to come by, but others are as close as your medicine cabinet. The powerful drug known as codeine clearly belongs in the latter category, but the fact that it is easily accessible does not mean it is not potentially dangerous.

In fact, codeine is one of the most commonly abused pharmaceutical medications, and it can be quite addictive when used to excess. If you are not concerned about the effects of codeine abuse, you may want to educate yourself about what this drug can do and the factors that make codeine abuse dangerous.

What Is Codeine?

Many people think of codeine as a cough suppressant, but there is actually not much evidence that codeine is useful for this purpose. These days codeine is more commonly prescribed to treat irritable bowel syndrome and related issues like diarrhea. But while codeine does have some legitimate medical uses, it can also be abused, and it is essential for anyone who has codeine-containing products stored in their home to keep them secure.

What is less commonly known about codeine is the way it breaks down in the body. When the liver breaks down codeine, it creates a naturally occurring form of morphine, making codeine a low-level opiate. This process is responsible for the addictive effects of codeine and one more reason to keep those medications out of the wrong hands.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help. 

Who Is Most at Risk of Developing Codeine Addiction?

While anyone can become addicted to this low-level opiate, some people are more prone to the effects of codeine abuse than others. Young people may be at particular risk, especially if their homes contain legitimately prescribed codeine-containing medications. If you live with a teen or young person, you should be especially careful about keeping all prescription medications, including those that may contain codeine and other addictive substances, away from them.

Those who have legitimately prescribed codeine-containing medications to treat chronic diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome may also be at risk of codeine abuse, especially if they take more medicine than prescribed. The overuse of codeine can easily lead to addiction due to the small amount of morphine it creates in the body.

Side Effects of Codeine Abuse

Many people think of codeine as an innocuous medication, but it can have serious side effects, primarily when used to excess or not used as prescribed. Here are some of the most common side effects of codeine abuse:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Excessive sleepiness and lethargy
  • A decrease in appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Stomach pain and constipation
  • Vision changes
  • Slowed respiration
  • Itchiness
  • Addiction
  • Possible overdose

Symptoms of Codeine Withdrawal

Despite its legal status and legitimate medical usage, codeine can be abused, and it has real dangers for those suffering from codeine abuse and addiction. If you are addicted to codeine, you will experience several withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit. That is why it is vital to have professional treatment and medical support as your body begins to heal.

Here are some of the most common codeine withdrawal symptoms:

  • Watering eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Weight loss

These withdrawal symptoms result from codeine abuse, but you can manage them and be kept comfortable while your body heals. If you are ready to get help with your codeine addiction, the staff at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab is here to help.

Codeine Addiction Detox and Rehab

Codeine is often thought of as a benign drug, especially since it is so commonly associated with cough suppression and the treatment of minor colds and other afflictions. Like many other drugs with legitimate medical uses, codeine can also be abused, and codeine abuse is a growing problem in many parts of the country.

If you have codeine-containing medications in your medicine cabinet, other family members could be at risk of codeine abuse and addiction, and it is crucial to watch out for the warning signs. If you suspect that someone you care about has been using codeine and abusing this surprisingly powerful drug, you need to reach out for help as soon as possible. The withdrawal symptoms that result from codeine abuse can be difficult, but ongoing medical management and professional monitoring at modern facilities can make them easier to handle. So reach out to WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today for the help you or a loved one needs, and do it right away.

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

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.