Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 6.2 million Americans have used a prescription drug for non-medical reasons in the past month, 4.7 million of those used a pain-reliever non-medically. Pain-relievers such as Codeine, commonly known as Tylenol 3, are commonly abused. Some develop their addiction from being prescribed the medication for a legitimate health condition, pain and/or anxiety, and they develop an addiction to the comfort it gives them. Others intentionally abuse the drug with purposes of getting high, it is an opiate with similar effects as street drugs such as Heroin. Which ever the reason behind the addiction it is extremely hard to stop using opiates with out the assistance of an treatment facility, not stopping can be fatal.
What is Codeine?
Codeine is a commonly prescribed pain medication that is commonly known as Tylenol 3. Codeine is derived from the opium poppy plant just as morphine and the illicit street drug Heroin. Listed in the category of opiates, when in the body Codeine turns into morphine, relieve pain and anxiety. How quickly the therapeutic effects occur depends on the metabolism of the individual and the dose taken. Medically, Codeine is a pain reliever but recreational use is for its euphoric effects. Either way the drug is abused the body can develop a tolerance rather quickly, requiring more of the drug to reach the desired effects. Within two to three weeks the body begins to develop a dependence, and psychological addiction sets in. Overcoming these addictions after stopping use of codeine may seem impossible due the the discomfort related to withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms include: drug craving, runny nose, yawning, sweating, insomnia, weakness, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, chills, irritability, and pain.
Adverse effects to misuse of Codeine
- Immediate adverse effects include; itching, vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, drowsiness, depression and coughing
- Codeine abuse can cause orthostatic hypotension, urinary retention and constipation.
- Lack of coordination and delayed response time
- Respiratory depression, large doses can stop the individual from breathing, results can be fatal
- Using acetaminophen in combinationwith codeine can lead to hepatotoxicity or liver damage.
- Using ibuprofen in combination with codeine can cause kidney problems, potentially leading to kidney failure.
- Using aspirin in combination with codeine can lead to internal hemorrhaging, such as bleeding of the stomach.
- Erectile dysfunction and diminished libido can be a longer-term effect, lasting years.
Codeine takes control
Codeine addiction, like any other addiction, takes control of the addicts life. They may experience financial stress, failures at work and school, loss of employment due to going to work under the influence, family and friends may distance themselves as well as experiencing health issues due to chronic drug abuse. Many make the foolish choice to drive while intoxicated, their coordination is impaired and their response time is greatly delayed, this is a risk not only for their safety but the safety of all others on the road. Not to mention the legal troubles they may get in as a result of driving while intoxicated. The addicts day revolves around taking their next dose of Codeine, they begin to have drug seeking behaviors. They will bounce from Doctor to Doctor to get new prescriptions for codeine. They may even resort to begging and stealing from friends and family.
Codeine Addiction Treatment
When you are ready to take the first step towards recovery contact a codeine addiction treatment program. There you will receive medical treatment for any physical and psychological health conditions you may have as a result of chronic codeine abuse. Under the supervision of a Doctor you will go through the detoxification process, cleansing your body of any chemicals and toxins. A non-addictive prescription medication will be offered to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal, reducing the discomfort and drug cravings. Behavioral modification therapy will help you get to the cause of your addiction as well as how to maintain your sobriety when leaving the program. You can successfully over come your addiction to codeine with the assistance of an addiction treatment program.