Codeine Addiction and Abuse - North Jersey Recovery Center - Prescription pill bottle laying on its side with codeine pills spilled out.

What is Codeine used for?

Codeine is a strong prescription pain medication.

It is part of the opiate drug class and often comes in tablet form. Oxycodone, morphine, and heroin are some other common drugs in this class.

While codeine generally is not considered as dangerous or addictive as these other opiates, it still carries the potential for abuse and addiction.

Codeine’s addictive qualities and fleeting effects can be dangerous.

Addictions often sneak up on you when they begin with a genuine medical use or prescription.

No matter the reason your addiction began, we can help you work to end it.

Codeine Medicines

Codeine is commonly taken to treat coughs and provide pain relief.

It can be taken alone, or it can be found in other medications as a base ingredient.

One common example of this is prescription-strength cough medicines.

Codeine is also one of the ingredients in Tylenol 3, a common and easy to find pain reliever.

Tylenol 3 also relies on acetaminophen for pain relief and fever reduction.

Most codeine addictions begin with an innocent medical use for chronic pains or stubborn coughs but develop into a more serious dependency later.

Codeine Addiction

Codeine is not as heavily monitored as other opiates are since it is considered less dangerous.

However, its effects make it easy to abuse, and addiction is possible.

Prescriptions for codeine-based cough medications are common.

With easy access and understated concern for potential outcomes, it often becomes easy to obtain and abuse codeine in several different forms.

In any form, codeine should not be abused.

If you are battling codeine abuse or addiction, we can help you take back control.

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Side Effects of Codeine Abuse

Although codeine is often less potent, its effects are similar to those of morphine. There is a common belief that prescription painkillers are not dangerous or are less dangerous than other drugs because a doctor recommended them.

This belief is dangerous and can instill a false sense of confidence in someone who is using codeine. It can lead you to believe that you are safe from opiate abuse and addiction, allowing it to sneak up on you.

Following this thought pattern and path can have dangerous, potentially deadly consequences. Codeine should not be compared to other opiates. It is addictive, and that is the most important thing to remember.

Codeine, in short-term use, can produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, drowsiness, and apathy. These side effects rarely last as long as users would like. These fleeting effects can leave you seeking more.

There are many other short and long-term side effects of codeine abuse that are more troubling. Among the most common are:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach pains
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Feelings of agitation or confusion
  • Fevers and sweats
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Muscle stiffness or twitches
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Weakness or dizziness

Severe Side Effects of Codeine Abuse

In long-term abuse of codeine, the side effects become increasingly troubling. These can include medical concerns like noisy or shallow breathing or difficulty breathing and swallowing.

Rashes, itchiness, and hives are also possible, as well as vision changes. Some of the most concerning are hallucinations and seizures.

The long list of side effects associated with this opiate pain reliever clearly shows that it needs to be taken seriously.

Codeine use should be limited to a strict prescription. You should not increase your dose, obtain codeine illicitly, or other abuse it.

These practices can lead to troubling mental and physical health events. If you have been taking codeine out of a medical need and find yourself becoming addicted to it, we can help. With medication management, physical and emotional support, and a dedicated medical team, recovery is within reach.

Mental Health and Codeine Abuse

The combination of addiction and a mental health disorder is known as a dual diagnosis. This is a very common condition. Studies show that nearly half of all individuals with a mental health disorder also experience a substance use disorder at some point.

In a dual diagnosis, it is not always evident which disorder came first. Substance abuse can cause mental health disorders.

Undiagnosed mental health disorders can lead to addictions when you use drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. Anxiety and depression are two common dual diagnosis disorders.

If you have a dual diagnosis, we can help you address this, too. Our highly specialized dual diagnosis program addresses each problem simultaneously for the best chance of recovery.

Codeine and Other Substances

Another concern related to codeine abuse is that it often acts as a gateway to more potent and dangerous opiates. Many codeine users move onto heroin, morphine, or oxycodone.

Escalating your drug use and mixing drugs are two dangerous practices. One common example of this is mixing codeine-based cough syrups with candy or soda. The resulting substance is called lean and has led to hospitalizations due to seizures.

Another example is mixing codeine with alcohol. Both of these substances are central nervous system depressants, and taking them together can lead to dangerous depressive episodes or respiratory failure.

We can help you address your drug abuse and work toward recovery, even if you are battling addictions to multiple substances.

Inpatient Rehab Programs

If you are battling a moderate to severe addiction, multiple addictions, have underlying mental health issues, or you need help enforcing early sobriety, inpatient care may be the best option.

This care method comes with 24-hour care, guidance, and support. It often begins with medical detox to ease your withdrawal symptoms and cravings and set you up for success.

Starting at your arrival, you will have round-the-clock access to medical care, physical and emotional support, and many proven therapeutic methods and remedies.

Therapy sessions, healthy meals, and support groups are important pieces of the recovery puzzle. This type of program is not ideal or necessary for each individual.

For this reason, we offer many other programs that balance high levels of care with varying degrees of flexibility.

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Other Rehab Options

If your addiction is mild, you have a strong support system at home, or you have obligations that eliminate a full-time program as an option, we will work with you to choose the right program.

We offer traditional outpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs, partial care, sober living, and more. Time requirements range from a few hours a week to upwards of 20.

Your program will be customized according to your unique addiction, needs, and preferences. Our goal is to provide you with high-level, personal, and flexible care.

We will meet you where you are and help you get where you need to be.

Using Insurance for Addiction Treatment

Depending on the type of program and medical attention you need, addiction treatments’ costs can vary.

Having health insurance can greatly reduce these costs.

Most major health insurance providers offer coverage for addiction treatments to some extent.

If you have insurance, but you are unsure of your coverage, please call our admissions department.

They will review and verify your insurance for you.

If you do not have health insurance, they will outline alternative payment options.

North Jersey Recovery Center

At the North Jersey Recovery Center, we never settle for cookie-cutter solutions or lazy treatment methods.

We base each program on the needs of the individual entering it.

We create a safe, comforting space in which recovery becomes possible.

We offer high-level, customized care options to meet a wide variety of unique addictions and needs.

See the difference that individualized care can make. Call us today for more information.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by njrc