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Codeine Addiction Treatment

Minor aches and pains can become magnified as we see ways to mask them and move forward with the fast pace of life. Codeine1 is a very commonly used drug to aid in physical health and rehabilitation. But what starts out as a pill for minor aches and pains may turn into a fast, downward spiral into addiction.

Codeine Facts

  • Codeine is classified as a schedule 2 narcotic.
  • It is an opiate.
  • Codeine can be both physically and emotionally addictive.
  • Codeine is most commonly used as a pain reliever (frequently for post-op).

Codeine is a common drug that is prescribed by many doctors, physical therapists and the like to aid in recovery. Patients suffering from injuries and those who have recently had surgery are the most likely to use this drug. Codeine is meant to be used as a short-term treatment only. However, dependency can occur and when it does, the effects can be permanently damaging.

Signs of Addiction

Codeine can easily become addictive. Not only does this drug provide temporary pain relief, but it also provides a feeling of euphoria – a temporary high. This is the reasoning behind why codeine is a drug that causes physical and emotional dependency. Those who become addicted to this drug often feel that their overall mood is better when taking codeine. The emotional effects transfer over to the mental state and once the mind takes over, taking the drug becomes an obsession and cravings come into play.

The problem with codeine, as with many pain relievers, is that they are prescribed by doctors to treat real physical pain in patients. And the drug does work – when ingested properly and with the correct dosage. The addiction can blindside the user of the drug as the patient feels that taking the drug is alleviating great pain in their body. Once addiction takes place, abusers will combine codeine with alcoholic beverages, also known as cocktails. The mixture of alcohol and codeine can ultimately lead to overdose.

Treatment of Addiction

As with many addictive drugs, specifically pain killers, gradual cessation is imperative. Some people attempt to stop using the drug cold turkey, however this leads to adverse effects. Abrupt stoppage can lead to seizures and even convulsions, therefore, seeking medical attention and treatment is the best route to take. The first step in curing yourself is through detox. Detox is a physical process that your body must endure to eliminate all traces of the drug from your body. Time spent in a detox facility averages around 7 days. Next, you may be transferred to a residential treatment facility where you may spend around 20 days. Outpatient treatment may follow the residential treatment. It is important to keep the lines of communication open, so if someone you know is struggling with an addiction to codeine, seek help immediately.


1PubMed Health
 Provides medical information for codeine
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