Man experiencing the signs of codeine abuse

Signs of Codeine Abuse

Codeine is a medication meant to help with pain, but it has a high potential for abuse. At our drug addiction treatment centers, we offer treatment for codeine addiction, helping you get back on track. Learn more about the signs of codeine abuse by calling us at 844.875.5609.  

Understanding Codeine Abuse: What Codeine Is and What It Does to Your Body 

Codeine is an opioid analgesic that derives from the poppy plant, just like its stronger relative, morphine. Physicians prescribe codeine for mild-to-moderate levels of pain and even to treat occasional gastrointestinal problems.  

Like other opioids, codeine affects the central nervous system, binding with opioid receptors to dull pain. But it has another dangerous effect—it causes euphoria.  

Your brain is biologically wired to want to repeat experiences that bring pleasure because these tend to be associated with survival. However, your brain works against you by making you crave opioids so you can receive that rush of euphoria again. Your brain cannot distinguish between pleasure that is healthy and pleasure that can lead to harmful consequences. 

Signs of codeine abuse include: 

  • Anxiety  
  • Depression   
  • Mood swings 
  • Isolation 
  • Avoiding favorite activities 
  • Lying about use 
  • Doctor shopping 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Nodding off during conversations 
  • Dizziness 
  • Decreased libido 
  • Constipation 
  • Itching  
  • Dry mouth  

You can also experience psychological symptoms, like worsening mental health concerns. Many people turn to codeine and other opioids to manage symptoms of mental illness. While codeine might appear to help at first, decreasing anxiety and helping with mood, in the long run, it can cause more harm than good.  

Because it causes structural changes to the brain and upsets brain chemicals, you can experience worsening mental health symptoms along with physical symptoms of substance abuse.  

Long-term effects of codeine abuse can include gastrointestinal issues, kidney damage, liver damage, and worsening mental health.  

Avoiding an Overdose: How to Prevent Putting Your Life at Risk 

One of the most dangerous aspects of using codeine or any other opioid is the risk of overdosing.  

As your body develops a tolerance for the drug, you will start needing more of it to receive the effects you want. That puts you at risk of taking more than your body can handle, leading to overdose effects that include: 

  • Depressed breathing 
  • Extreme sleepiness 
  • Weak pulse 
  • Constricted pupils 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Cold and clammy skin 
  • Bluish nails and lips 
  • Unconsciousness 

Opioids affect brain areas that control breathing, so an overdose can cause respiratory distress and failure.  

To avoid this risk, the best step you can take is to turn to a treatment program for help with codeine abuse.  

Kinds of Treatment Programs for Codeine Abuse 

You want to start your treatment with medical detox services. If you abruptly stop using codeine, your body won’t remember how to adjust to functioning without the drug. This leads to withdrawal symptoms that can be distressing and even dangerous.  

When you turn to medical detox services, you can get medications to help your body adjust. These drugs mimic the effect that codeine has on your system but without giving you the “high” that you crave.  

After completing detox services, you can turn to residential or outpatient programs. During residential programs, you can stay at our facilities while receiving treatment. In outpatient services, you can go home every night after treatment.  

The right program will depend on the severity of your addiction and your preferences.  

Break Away From Codeine Abuse—With Help From Promises 

Addiction can take a heavy toll on your life, from your relationships to your health. You can turn to Promises for the quality addiction treatment programs you deserve. Call Promises today at 844.875.5609 to speak with our admissions team.

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