What is Codeine?

Codeine is a type of opioid that originally came from the opium poppy plant.

Some opioids are still made from this plant, and others are created in labs.

It can come in the form of capsules, tablets, and even liquids such as cough syrups.

Codeine helps to relieve pain and is also used to treat coughs.

It can also make you feel relaxed and give you a “high,” which is what can make opioids addictive.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know how difficult it can be to deal with codeine addiction.

Let us help you understand more about this drug, as well as ways we can help you if you are addicted to codeine.

Codeine Addiction and Abuse and How to Treat This - Pathfinders - An image of bottles of codeine that often lead to codeine addiction and abuse.

What is Codeine Used for?

Like all opioids, codeine is used to help treat moderate to severe pain.

It can also be used to help treat coughs.

It works by blocking pain receptors in your brain and body, or by decreasing the activity in your brain that makes you cough.

When used appropriately for short periods of time, codeine is a safe and effective treatment for these issues.

It is sometimes combined with acetaminophen for more severe pain since acetaminophen helps to make codeine even more effective for pain management.

When it is abused, however, it can be dangerous to your health.

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Understanding Codeine Abuse

Many people think that codeine abuse only happens when someone takes it without a prescription. But this is not the case. Codeine abuse is broader than that.

Anytime you take it in higher doses or more often than you are supposed to, it counts as abuse even if you have a prescription. Abusing this drug is dangerous because of the way that it affects your brain.

It makes your brain release a flood of dopamine, a chemical that helps you feel happy and relaxed.

This makes it difficult for your brain to release dopamine naturally, which makes your brain crave codeine to make you feel better. This is what leads to codeine addiction.

Many of the people who end up addicted to this drug started taking it under a doctor’s care.

If you are not sure whether or not you’re abusing codeine, here are some questions that you can ask yourself:

  • Are you taking larger amounts, taking them more often, or taking them for longer than you were supposed to?
  • Have you tried to cut down or stop taking it but find that you cannot?
  • Do you spend a lot of time getting it, or dealing with negative side effects?
  • Do you crave it when you are not taking it?
  • Are you having issues at work, school, or home?
  • Have you stopped doing things you used to enjoy so that you can take drugs instead?
  • Do you need to take more in order to feel its effects?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it?

If you can answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, there is a good chance that you are abusing codeine and may have an addiction.

Now is the time to consider speaking to Pathfinders about our drug rehab options.

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How Codeine can Affect Your Body

While codeine has the ability to create positive feelings through treating pain, it is the negative effects that need to be worried about.

Codeine can cause confusion, constipation, depression, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and slowed breathing.

The longer you abuse this drug, the worse these symptoms can get.

The most dangerous effect is slowed breathing. All opioids carry the risk of causing something called hypoxia.

This is a condition where not enough oxygen gets to your brain because of slowed or stopped breathing.

Hypoxia can cause both short and long term health problems, including brain damage, coma, and even death.

Codeine Addiction and Abuse and How to Treat This - Pathfinders - A young man sits with an addiction therapist to discuss his codeine addiction and abuse.

Mental Illness and Codeine Abuse

Like many addictions, codeine addiction can have a negative impact on your mental health.

People with opioid addictions are twice as likely to have at least one mental health issue. The most common issues are anxiety, depression, aggression, mood swings, and even hallucinations.

If you had a mental health issue before you began abusing opioids, taking this drug will only make these issues worse.

Some people try to treat their mental health symptoms by taking codeine in order to feel happy and relaxed. While it may have this effect in the short term, in the long term it only makes it harder for your brain to regulate your emotions.

No matter when you began having mental health issues, it is important to have them addressed while you are in a drug rehab program. This will help reduce the chances that you will suffer a relapse. This allows us to give you medications that make withdrawal symptoms easier to deal with and your detox process smoother.

Getting Treatment for Codeine Addiction

If you’re suffering from a codeine addiction, there are treatment options available that can help you overcome the addiction.

The most common type of treatment is called medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This type of treatment uses medication in combination with behavioral therapies.

There are currently three approved medications for people with opioid addiction, which work to reduce cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms.

These medications include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Lofexidine

These medications work by blocking your body’s ability to get high by taking opioids and reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms.

This helps to overcome your brain’s dependency on codeine and return your brain chemicals to normal levels.

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Behavioral Treatment Options

There are many behavioral treatment options available to you to help you overcome your addiction. Three of the most common include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): which helps learn about the thoughts and behaviors that led to their drug use. Then you are given tools to help you avoid things that trigger your drug use, and to better cope with stress.
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET): This type of therapy rewards good behavior, like attending and participating in your therapy sessions, with small gifts. This helps you to teach your brain to associate being drug-free with positive emotions.
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI,): This type of therapy helps a patient recognize how their drug use affects their goals in life, and give them tools to help overcome their drug habits.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we find that most patients benefit from both individual and group therapy sessions.

This allows you to discuss things in private that you may not want to share with others, and to build a supportive community with people who understand what you are going through.

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Seek Help from a Trustworthy Drug Rehab

Codeine abuse can happen to anyone at any time.

Even if you had a prescription for it, codeine abuse can have serious effects on your health.

That is what makes it so important to get the help that you need.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back from the difficulty of addiction.

Our premier addiction treatment centers are located in upscale areas throughout the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Our luxury locations provide you with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout their treatment program.

We help ensure your success by using only scientifically researched, cutting edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs. We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment. That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification. Simply give us a call and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment. You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

You do not have to keep living with your codeine addiction. Let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery. Contact us today and see the difference we can make by helping you to become healthy once again.

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