Codeine is a commonly used prescription drug that is given to patients experiencing moderate pain or coughs and colds. A codeine prescription can come in tablet or liquid form. Codeine is classified as a narcotic or opiate. Simply put, a narcotic is defined as a substance that changes mood or behavior. Street names for codeine are:
- Cough syrup
Narcotics are generally known to be addictive drugs. Many narcotics are illicit or illegal drugs. While codeine is not an illicit drug, it can be mixed by drug abusers to create more intense feelings than it is intended for.
Codeine use may cause side effects of:
- A headache
- Stomach pain
- Shallow breathing
- Changes in vision
A typically prescribed dose of codeine is 30-50mg. This is given to patients to relieve pain and relax. Increasing this dosage, or using codeine after your mild pain has ended can be considered substance abuse. Using a prescription drug beyond what it is meant for is a fast way to become addicted.
What Overdose on Codeine Looks Like
Overdosing from codeine is possible. Codeine becomes morphine when it enters the liver. Increasing codeine abuse means that more morphine will eventually end up in the bloodstream.
The amount of codeine a person needs to overdose depends on their genes and the nature of their addiction. Typically, 30 mg is prescribed for patients experiencing cough symptoms or pain. An overdose can end in death if it is between 500-1500 mg.
An overdose on codeine shows these symptoms:
- Respiratory depression (slow breathing)
- Blue lips and fingernails
- Lower body temperature
- Loss of motor control
If you or a loved one are starting to notice these symptoms, seek emergency healthcare immediately.
Signs and Symptoms of Codeine Addiction
At any treatment center, there are going to be patients with varying levels of attachment to their drug of choice. Some patients do not understand that their substance abuse turned into an addiction.
If you are questioning how far your substance abuse with codeine led you, check yourself against the symptoms listed below. Drug rehab is a good choice if you feel that your substance use has turned into substance abuse.
Some physical symptoms of codeine abuse are:
- Impaired judgment
- Inability to concentrate
- Dilated pupils
While the effects may be less severe than opiates like heroin, The National Institute on Drug Abuse writes that using codeine once can lead to a chemical dependency if a person is prone to drug abuse.
A way to check in on your substance abuse is to ask yourself these important questions:
- Has my codeine abuse affected my relationships?
- Do I use more codeine than my prescribed dosage?
- Do I use codeine to relieve other feelings that aren’t related to medical reasons?
- Can I get through one week without using the drug?
- Can I get through one day without using the drug?
- Am I able to stop using the drug when my dosage runs out?
A treatment center is for anyone who needs help, you do not have to hit rock bottom to get help.
How to Get Help with Codeine Addiction for Yourself or Family
It is common that drug addiction to opiates comes through the misuse of prescription drugs. There are legal, helpful prescription drugs that have the properties of opiates.
There are also illicit drugs with the same effect and a lot more synthetic chemicals that cause the brain to latch onto the drug.
Codeine addiction is a very accessible prescription drug. The purpose of codeine prescription is to relieve mild to moderate pain. It can also be used to reduce coughing. The drug is supposed to be taken consistently as a patient with a cough or chronic pain recovers.
Codeine can cause a chemical dependency because it converts to morphine as it enters the brain. The drug uses this to change the feelings that are felt- both physically and mentally. This is where drug addiction comes into play.
No matter how you came about your drug addiction to codeine, you are probably wondering what to do next. The best way to break an opioid addiction is to go to a treatment center.
With the support of medical professionals and trusted therapists, you’ll be able to understand your mind and body on a new level and become clean and sober.