Understanding Codeine Cough Syrup Abuse and Who Is Most at Risk
When you think about drugs that teens may use, you may think about things like marijuana, cocaine, or prescription painkillers. However, you probably do not picture the cough medicine in your medicine cabinet as something your child will use to get high.
The primary substance in cough medicine contains codeine, and it is not as innocuous as you might think. In the wrong hands, including those of your kids, codeine cough syrup mixtures can be pretty dangerous, and the misuse of codeine cough syrup has become a big problem. If you have kids in your home, you need to be on the lookout for the warning signs of this strange but severe addiction.
Why Do People Misuse Codeine Cough Syrup?
From the youngest kids to the oldest adults, many people have all kinds of reasons for the misuse of codeine cough syrup. Some of these reasons may sound familiar, while others will look strange. Still, it is crucial to understand the motivations your kids may have for engaging in this risky behavior, including:
- Low price
- Peer pressure
These risk factors can play a role in the misuse of codeine cough syrup, so it is essential to keep an eye out for any warning signs of abuse.
Other Names for Codeine Cough Syrup Mixtures
You should keep your eyes open for the warning signs of the misuse of codeine cough syrup, but you should keep your ears open as well. Your kids may refer to codeine cough syrup by several alternative names, including:
- Purple Drink
- Triple C
If you hear any of these terms in your home, it is important to have a serious conversation right away. As a parent, you have the right and the responsibility to get your kid into treatment, and the sooner you do it, the better off they will be.
Who’s Most at Risk of Cough Syrup Abuse?
Unlike some other commonly abused drugs, the misuse of codeine-containing cough syrup can happen at very young ages. No matter how old your kids are, it would help if you took great care to keep potentially dangerous medications under lock and key, including seemingly benign medicines like cough syrup and anything else containing codeine.
Codeine may seem like an innocuous cough syrup ingredient, but it is a low-level opioid with the same dangers as other types of opioids. And since codeine is used as not just a cough suppressant but also a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, you may already have it in your medicine cabinet.
Children as young as six or seven years of age have been known to misuse codeine cough syrup, sometimes imitating their older siblings and sometimes on their own. For the most part, the age group most at risk from codeine cough syrup are 14 to 15-year-olds, and the risk of abuse tends to go down as those young teens get older.
However, that does not mean that the risk of drug abuse, including the misuse of codeine cough syrup, will go away or that other drug addiction cannot happen. No matter their ages, you need to keep a close watch on the kids and teens in your household and be ready to take action if you suspect that something is wrong.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction at WhiteSands
It is easy to assume that your doctor prescribes perfectly safe drugs, but when it comes to prescription cough medicine, that is simply not the case. Far from benign, cough medicines containing codeine are opioids, and the same precautions should govern their use, storage, and disposal.
If you suspect that someone in your household has been misusing codeine cough syrup or any other type of prescription medication, it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. You may think that you are all alone or worry that no one will take your situation seriously, but you can put those fears to rest when you pick up the phone contact our staff. At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, we take the misuse of codeine cough syrup very seriously, and we can guide you through the entire treatment and rehab process.
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.