Codeine Warning Signs
Codeine is an opioid drug. It’s also one of the most widely abused prescription drugs today. A fast-acting drug, codeine is effective for relieving mild or moderate pain, but its effects are short-lived. For decades, codeine has been added to cough medications to treat cough and conditions that involve some degree of pain. While many people prescribed codeine will not develop an opioid abuse problem, the potential exists, which could lead to needing codeine addiction treatment in Tampa.
Opioids are dangerous drugs that physicians monitor closely when prescribing. Even so, common opioids like codeine are often abused. Once a person develops dependence and addiction to codeine, they are vulnerable to abusing other opioids and developing addictions to them as well. Taking too much of any opioid can lead to overdose. Over time, opioid abuse will detract from a person’s mental and physical health without seeking help from an opioid addiction treatment center.
Codeine Addiction Treatment in Tampa: A Potential for Abuse
Why are opioids like codeine so widely abused? Although illicit opioids like heroin are known for their euphoric highs, prescription opioids are supposed to deliver pain relief. How does pain medication like codeine become a leading drug of abuse? Taking an opioid drug for a week or longer leaves a person at risk of developing a tolerance. This means that the individual takes their prescribed dose but it doesn’t work as effectively to treat the pain. This indicates that the person is developing a tolerance to the drug, so it doesn’t work as well to ward off the pain.
To relieve pain, the individual takes the next dose earlier than usual. They might not equate this as drug abuse, but it is because it deviates from their doctor’s prescribed usage. They might increase their dose. In the case of codeine, they may take two teaspoons of their codeine cough medicine rather than the prescribed one.
This seemingly innocent or ‘light’ abuse is actually how many prescription drug abuse problems occur. Simply taking a little more of the drug each time its effects stop working can pave the path to opioid addiction.
Of course, some people abuse the drug because they like its sedative effects. People often feel relaxed when taking an opioid drug. Taking the drug to experience its relaxing effects rather than for why it’s prescribed can also increase the likelihood for dependence and addiction. The longer a person continues to use codeine, the higher their risk for abuse and addiction. Recognizing these trends, addiction treatment in Tampa and other locations have focused on providing support and resources for individuals struggling with opioid dependence.
Learn how codeine addiction affects the body here:
What Is Codeine Used For?
Codeine is used to treat coughs and pain. For a person with a severe sore throat and cough, codeine can be a highly effective treatment for relieving pain and coughing symptoms. For example, someone with more persistent conditions than something like strep throat may require more closely monitoring pain management solutions. Today, healthcare providers know the risks of abuse regarding prescription opioids like codeine. Many doctors will only prescribe opioid drugs like codeine for a certain length of time to reduce the risk of tolerance and dependence.
Although those are the ‘official’ reasons why people use codeine, it should be noted that an estimated 33 million people in the U.S. take codeine for non-medical uses. That is powerful proof of this drug’s potential for abuse.
14 Codeine Warning Signs of Abuse
There are numerous warning signs associated with codeine abuse and addiction. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of them, you should consider getting counseling for support during codeine drug addiction treatment in Tampa. The sooner you manage a codeine use disorder, the better for your health and future.
1. Feeling Preoccupied with Codeine
Someone with a codeine dependence may think about using codeine throughout the day. They may become fixated on thoughts of obtaining more of the drug to build their supply.
2. Doctor Shopping
Since doctors will curtail opioid prescriptions for individual patients, some patients may doctor shop (search for other prescribers) to obtain more codeine. They may fake illnesses or visit the ER frequently to obtain more codeine.
3. Forging Prescriptions
In instances when people cannot obtain a prescription legally, they may be tempted to forge one to procure codeine or another opioid medication. If caught, of course, this can lead to serious legal problems.
4. Withdrawing From Family and Friends
Someone with an opioid abuse problem or addiction may pull away from friends and family. They may feel apathetic about attending events that involve friends and family. They may also stop doing things they formerly enjoyed.
5. Reduced Work or School Performance
Someone who is abusing codeine may begin to produce inferior work either at work or school. They may forget about deadlines or fail altogether to submit work.
6. Relationship Problems
A person who abuses any drug may experience relationship problems. Spouses may become angry or concerned. This may lead the individual to deny or lie about their problem. The result is that serious relationship issues can develop.
7. Mood Swings
Someone with a codeine abuse problem is apt to exhibit mood swings. They may feel depressed one day and emotionally numb the next. They may experience a heightened degree of anxiety or greater irritability. These symptoms can occur with the use of the drug or as a result of withdrawal symptoms if the individual doesn’t use the drug for a certain period of time.
8. Inability to Stop Taking the Drug
Someone who wants to stop, tries to stop, but fails to stop using codeine has likely developed a dependence and may actually already be addicted. Dependence involves a physical dependence on the drug. Addiction involves psychological and behavioral dependencies too.
9. Mental Problems
In addition to experiencing anxiety or depression, a person abusing codeine may develop other cognitive issues such as reduced memory or difficulty maintaining concentration. They may experience hallucinations or delusions. Some people may experience psychosis.
10. Reduced Libido
Someone abusing codeine may experience reduced sexual drive. This can also lead to relationship problems.
11. Respiratory Problems
Someone who abuses opioids may begin to breathe with greater difficulty, especially if taking too much of the drug. Opioids affect the brain’s reward center, which is located near the brain’s respiratory controls. Codeine can suppress respiratory function. This can become a medical emergency.
12. Development of Rashes or Itchy Skin
Many people who are addicted to an opioid drug develop skin problems, including itchy rashes.
13. Other Physical Symptoms
Opioid abuse can lead to health conditions or symptoms such as dry mouth, fatigue, low blood pressure, urinary retention, dizziness, nausea, and seizures.
14. Withdrawal Symptoms
If withdrawal symptoms occur, the individual certainly has a codeine addiction or dependence. Codeine withdrawal symptoms are often flu-like and include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, trembling, sweating, muscle aches, and even fever.
Codeine Addiction Treatment in Tampa: WhiteSands Can Help Overcome Codeine Addiction
Some people may not credit codeine as dangerous as it can be because it’s added to cough medicines. The fact is, it can become habit-forming and lead to needing prescription drug addiction treatment. Codeine is also a gateway opioid to other opioid drugs. Codeine is less powerful than opioids like morphine or Fentanyl. A person might ‘graduate’ from codeine abuse to Fentanyl abuse over time.
If you live with codeine addiction and need Codeine addiction treatment in Tampa, WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab can help. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment that includes inpatient and outpatient treatments. Let us help you manage your codeine addiction for good.
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.