codeineIF YOU BELIEVE SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU IS ADDICTED TO CODEINE, PLEASECONTACT NATIONAL TREATMENT CENTERS FOR A FREE, CONFIDENTIAL, NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION AND TREATMENT INFORMATION ON WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR LOVED ONE.

Codeine Addiction

Many people are prescribed Codeine and come to find that while the medication they are taking is numbing their pain, they also experience the dreamy, disassociative feeling that goes along with the analgesic properties. One way of looking at it is, while the physical pain is being suppressed, so is whatever mental and emotional pain that they may be feeling.

They then begin to take more than is prescribed and they become addicted to Codeine. This is not always the case, nor does every Codeine addict come to take the drug in a medical setting. Some just take Codeine to get high. In the end the result is the same, Codeine addiction, desperation and despair. Once a person is physically dependent on Codeine, when they stop taking it there is a pronounced withdrawal syndrome associated with the detoxification.

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Codeine is an alkaloid which is found in opium plant. It is a narcotic whose effects, though less potent, are similar to morphine. Morphine is an effective cough suppressant, it is mainly used in cough medicines. Like other narcotics, codeine is an addictive drug.

Codeine was first isolated from opium by the French chemist Pierre-Jean Robiquet in 1832. Because of the small concentration found in nature, most codeine found in medical products is synthesized from morphine. Codeine can be found in many pharmaceutical products all around the world, it’s found in many forms including tablets, capsules, syrups, etc. In most countries, Codeine is a scheduled substance. This means that it is not available as a sole product. Few products contain codeine that are available without a prescription. Those that do average around only 10mg of Codeine, making it near impossible to overdose.

The most common medical uses for Codeine include relief of mild to moderate pain (eg arthralgia, back pain, bone pain, dental pain, headache, migraine, myalgia and surgical pain), relief of non-productive (dry) cough, and relief of diarrhoea. Codeine can be taken orally, subcutaneously, intramuscularly and rectally. When taken Rectal administration is considered as more efficient than oral (up to 125%).

Codeine is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and it’s first pass through the liver results in very little loss of the drug. This contrasts with morphine in which over 90% of the drug is metabolized in the first pass through the liver resulting in a considerable loss of potency when administered orally. This is why codeine is a common opiate in the relief of pain, the ease of oral administration.. It is rapidly distributed from the intravascular spaces to the various body tissues, with preferential uptake by the liver, spleen, and kidneys. To experience the effects of codeine, human body must convert the drug to morphine. In most humans, about 10% of codeine is transformed to morphine. Effects of codeine start at 10-30 minutes after ingestion, peak within 1 to 2 hours and may last 4-6 hours, depending on dose administered.

Street names for Codeine include:

Codeine Addiction

Many people are prescribed Codeine and come to find that while the medication they are taking is numbing their pain, they also experience the dreamy, disassociative feeling that goes along with the analgesic properties. One way of looking at it is, while the physical pain is being suppressed, so is whatever mental and emotional pain that they may be feeling.

They then begin to take more than is prescribed and they become addicted to Codeine. This is not always the case, nor does every Codeine addict come to take the drug in a medical setting. Some just take Codeine to get high. In the end the result is the same, Codeine addiction, desperation and despair. Once a person is physically dependent on Codeine, when they stop taking it there is a pronounced withdrawal syndrome associated with the detoxification.

Codeine is commonly prescribed because it is an effective analgesic and for its pain relieving properties. Many studies have shown that properly managed medical use of Codeine is safe and rarely causes clinical addiction, which is defined as compulsive, often uncontrollable use.

Taken exactly as prescribed, Codeine can be used to manage pain effectively for a short period of time. Chronic use of Codeine can result in tolerance to the drug so that higher doses must be taken to obtain the same initial effects. Long-term use also can lead to physical dependence – the body adapts to the presence of Codeine and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or eliminated abruptly.

Codeine Side Effects

Abusing Codeine causes harmful side effects, including loss of motor skills and coordination. Users may feel confused or dizzy and become unstable on their feet. These side effects can last for several hours to several years, depending on how long or how much a person uses the drug. Some side effects may even be permanent.

Side effects of Codeine include but are not limited to:


Abuse of Codeine may result in tolerance for the drug, meaning users need higher doses of the drug to achieve the original effects. Long-term Codeine abuse can also lead to physical dependence accompanied by severe mental and physical disturbances when the drug is withdrawn. People who abuse Codeine may lose their inhibitions and put themselves at risk for contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Codeine abuse can be fatal-either by ingesting one large overdose or by taking many smaller doses over time.

Some users may combine Codeine with another drug such as marijuana, cocaine, or alcohol. Or, they may combine them with antihistamines, barbiturates, general anesthetics, or antidepressants. But, the effect of using multiple drugs is dangerous and can be deadly. Codeine is safe to use with other drugs only under a doctor’s supervision.

Codeine Withdrawal

Once a person is physically dependent on Codeine, when they stop taking them there is a pronounced withdrawal syndrome associated with the detoxification. Physical symptoms include, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, muscle and bone pain, runny nose, tearing eyes, yawning, excessive sneezing, etc.

While this withdrawal syndrome is very uncomfortable, the medical risks associated with it are very low. However, due to the extreme discomfort experienced during detoxification, most Codine addicts need to go into a detox program before they check into treatment.

Codeine Overdose

Everyone’s body is different but as little as half a pill when combined with or other depressants can lower your respiratory system enough to kill you. Taken in high doses, Codeine alone, can kill you. Codeine can be found in many medications such as Tylenol #3, Actifed with Codeine, Robitussin A-C, and Empirin #3 for example.

Codeine is metabolized to morphine and its effects are similar to those of morphine and other opiate analgesics. Respiratory depression, sedation and miosis and common symptoms of overdose. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, skeletal muscle flaccidity, bradycardia, hypotension, and cool, clammy skin. Apnea and death may ensue; children have had apnea after doses as small as 5 mg/kg. Non-cardiac pulmonary edema may develop opioid overdose, and monitoring of heart filling pressure may be helpful.

The symptoms of a Codeine overdose include but are not limited to:

Codeine Facts


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