Codeine Addiction Symptoms: A Guide for Families and Friends

Codeine exhibits a high risk for tolerance, dependence, and addiction, often requiring the withdrawal help of a Codeine detox facility. If you are one of many who misuse or abuse Codeine, get the help you need today. Call our 24/7 Addiction Helpline at (888) 446-5952.

The dangers of prescription medications and over-the-counter cough syrups containing Codeine should not be underestimated. Codeine belongs to the same opiate family of drugs as morphine and heroin, with similarly devastating results when misused. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, in 2011, nearly 10,000 codeine product-related emergency department visits were reported, many of which were for abusers seeking Codeine detox.

So what is Codeine, and why has Codeine abuse become an emerging and deadly drug trend?

What is Codeine?

Codeine is a narcotic derived from the opium poppy. It belongs to a class of powerful pain-killing drugs called opiates or opioids. Codeine is typically prescribed in tablet form for its analgesic effects to treat mild to moderately severe pain. In addition, this opioid contains anti-tussive properties and is used as an effective cough suppressant. Codeine cough syrup is often co-formulated with the antihistamine Promethazine.

When used as prescribed, these medications are safe and effective. However, Codeine is an opiate, and as such, when these medicines are consumed in large quantities, they can produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation. This is why patients and recreational users frequently encounter Codeine abuse.

The Dangers of Codeine Abuse and Misuse

Abuse of Codeine Sulfate Prescription Medications

Codeine sulfate tablets are a Schedule II controlled substance. This medication is often diverted for illicit use. Abusers will chew the tablets, crush them and snort or inject the sense.

A primary risk of Codeine sulfate is the occurrence of respiratory depression, particularly when too much of the medication is taken or overdosed. Often referred to as the opioid triad — pinpoint pupils, slowing of respiration, and a loss of consciousness indicate an overdose, which can lead to death.

Abuse of Codeine Cough Syrup

Even though cough preparations containing codeine are either Schedule III (Tylenol with Codeine) or Schedule V (Robitussin AC and Phenergan with Codeine) controlled substances, misuse can be deadly. An emerging trend, especially among teenagers and young adults, involves the abuse of Codeine cough syrup to get high.

Abusers will sip on it all day because it produces effects similar to alcohol. On the streets, codeine cough syrup is often referred to as Syrup, Sizzurp, Lean, or Purple Drank. Overdose and deaths have been linked to the abuse of codeine-promethazine cough syrup, including those of well-known rap singers.

What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Codeine Addiction?

Tolerance to Codeine builds up quickly, and users initially may not notice that they are becoming dependent on the drug until they start consuming more and more to get any effect. After a while, users can develop a physical and mental dependency on Codeine.

After using the opiate for a long duration in high doses, users often cross the threshold from dependence to Codeine addiction. You may be addicted if you find yourself compulsively seeking or using the drug for non-medical purposes. You cannot stop even though you experience harmful effects. Addiction is treatable, so seek Codeine detox and rehab services to free yourself of this potentially dangerous medication.

Codeine Detox and Recovery

Trying to withdraw from Codeine on your own or going “cold turkey” can be hard to do, not to mention the withdrawal reactions are sometimes unpleasant and potentially life-threatening. Codeine withdrawal symptoms include drowsiness, headache, dizziness, restless legs, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, muscle aches, and pain. To help you with Codeine detox and rehabilitation, Holy Land Rehab provides a positive environment and offers an Intensive Outpatient Program personalized to your needs. Call our 24/7 Addiction Helpline at (888) 446-5952 to learn how we can help you overcome your Codeine addiction.

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