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Codeine is a prescription opioid medication that is widely used to treat pain and coughing. However, the drug also carries a high risk of addiction and abuse. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, effects, withdrawals, and treatment options for codeine addiction.

Stats: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), natural and semi-synthetic opioids, including codeine, were involved in 14,040 overdose deaths in the United States in 2019. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Drug Overdose Deaths.)

Symptoms of Codeine addiction:

  • Increased tolerance to the drug

  • Continuing to use codeine despite negative consequences

  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using codeine

  • Cravings for codeine

  • Spending a lot of time using, obtaining, and recovering from codeine use

  • Neglecting responsibilities and relationships due to codeine use

Effects of Codeine addiction:

  • Physical effects such as constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and respiratory depression

  • Mental health effects such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings

  • Social and financial consequences such as loss of employment, legal issues, and strained relationships

Withdrawal symptoms of Codeine addiction:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

  • Insomnia and restlessness

  • Sweating and chills

  • Muscle and joint pain

  • Anxiety and irritability

  • Cravings for codeine

Treatment for Codeine addiction:

  • Detoxification in a medically supervised setting to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse

  • Behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management to help individuals change their behavior and thought patterns related to codeine use

  • Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous to provide social support and accountability

Codeine addiction is a serious condition that can cause significant physical, mental, and social harm. However, with proper treatment and support, recovery is possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with codeine addiction, seek help from a qualified healthcare professional.

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