Codeine: A Potent Pain Reliever

Doctors prescribe codeine to relieve moderate pain and, together with other medications, to suppress coughing. The drug alters the way the brain and body sense pain. Codeine can also be found in cough and cold medications, such as Tylenol with Codeine.

Although typically indicated for temporary relief, and used in capsule or liquid form every 4-6 hours, some people abuse codeine by taking more than indicated over longer periods of time.

Facts About Codeine Addiction

Codeine is absorbed quickly with little reduction in potency, which makes it highly addictive if used other than as directed. In addition to relieving pain, the drug can produce euphoria, leading to a cycle of abuse, tolerance and addiction. Continued abuse of codeine over time can lead to:

  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Seizures

Codeine Detox

Because withdrawal from codeine addiction can be painful and dangerous, codeine detox should occur gradually and under medical supervision. Medications, such as methadone and Suboxone, can greatly increase a codeine addict’s chances of getting and staying sober long-term.

Treating Cocaine Addiction

Effective treatment of codeine addiction will require the addict to address the codeine addiction as well as any other forms of drug or alcohol abuse. Alcohol is often mixed with codeine for maximum effect, though this practice is dangerous and possibly lethal.

Treatment for codeine addiction also requires the addict to confront any co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety. Because codeine addiction is a disease that affects every area of a person’s life, including their health, relationships, employment, finances and happiness, codeine rehab is often needed.

Following codeine detox, addicts typically receive a comprehensive and individualized treatment plan created by professionals in an outpatient or inpatient codeine rehab center. In addition to drug counseling and 12-Step meetings, codeine addicts will learn healthier coping skills, develop a sober support system and create a relapse prevention plan.