Codeine is a popular opiate drug used to treat pain and anxiety. Typically taken in pill form, it can be found in some over-the-counter cough remedies, Tylenol with codeine, and in prescription combination drugs. The body absorbs codeine quickly, making its effects particularly strong.
Over time, chronic codeine use can slow endorphin production, resulting in acute pain. Users also build a tolerance to the drug, needing greater doses to feel the same high. Side effects of codeine abuse can include:
- Stomach bleeding
- Kidney and liver damage
- Blurred vision
- Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
- Diminished sex drive
If an individual stops using codeine after prolonged use, withdrawal symptoms can set in. These include nausea, drug cravings, sweating, insomnia, stomach cramps, nausea, muscle spasms, chills and pain. A painful withdrawal is one of the main reasons people struggle to beat their addiction to codeine.
Treating Codeine Addiction
Codeine addiction is a serious problem that requires prompt treatment. Like other opiates, codeine abuse can lead to both physical and psychological dependence, requiring a gradual, supervised detox and ongoing counseling.
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