Codeine is an opioid used for suppressing coughs and treating mild to moderately severe pain. It works by binding to opioid receptors that are responsible for communicating pain sensations throughout the body. Codeine then releases neurotransmitters that stimulate the reward center of the brain, providing calmness and pleasure. It is available in the form of pills, syrup and injection.
Codeine can be addictive due to its calming effect and when abused, it can lead to physical and psychological dependence. Long-term use of codeine can lead to drug tolerance, wherein the user would require more of the drug to achieve the same effect. An increasing tolerance level can lead to codeine addiction.
Symptoms and effects of codeine abuse
Codeine abuse can cause nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing and drowsiness. The drug may also cause constipation, stomach pain and itchiness. When taken in higher doses, it can affect the brain and lead to confusions, agitations, depression, seizures, impaired judgment and hallucinations.
It can affect different spheres of life and lead to financial problems, loss of productivity, and impaired social relationships. Moreover, a codeine overdose can be fatal. An overdose of codeine along with alcohol or tranquilizers may result in respiratory depression and coma. Following are some signs of codeine overdose:
- chest pain
- shallow and slow breathing
- slow heartbeat
When abused in higher quantities, it may lead to respiratory collapse, cardiac arrest and loss of consciousness. Individuals addicted to codeine may seek other powerful opioids like OxyContin to experience an enhanced level of euphoria.
A sudden discontinuation of codeine can produce severe withdrawal symptoms. Considering the severity, individuals seeking codeine addiction treatment should opt for medically supervised program.
Following are some of the codeine withdrawal symptoms:
- drug craving
Treatment for codeine addiction
To start a life of sobriety, it is important to seek the best possible codeine addiction treatment in a reputed rehab center. The treatment can be in either an inpatient care facility or an outpatient care facility. In an inpatient treatment center, codeine addiction treatment involves an extensive detox program along with therapy sessions in a sober environment. In case of serious addiction, treatment in an inpatient care facility can increase the chance of recovery.
Treatment in an outpatient facility involves similar treatment, but it also offers the flexibility of staying at home. Individuals who cannot seek treatment in a regular inpatient facility or the ones with manageable symptoms can opt for codeine addiction treatment in an outpatient facility.
The treatment in a codeine addiction rehab includes a combination of medication-assisted detoxification and therapy sessions. The detox program helps flush out drug traces from the system and prepares the body for further treatment. Due to extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, treatment in a codeine addiction treatment center is done under the supervision of a medical professional and it involves medications like methadone and buprenorphine. After detoxification, an individual undergoing treatment for codeine addiction needs to get admitted to a long-term residential treatment center to control possible drug cravings and to maintain sobriety even after treatment.
The treatment program also includes therapy sessions like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), individual and family therapies to maintain drug abstinence and sobriety. In addition to pharmacological and psychological therapies, dedicated codeine drug rehab centers also provide alternative therapies that benefit in the addiction recovery process.