Codeine Treatment and Rehab

Codeine is an addictive opiate painkiller medicine. It is available in the UK in some forms as over-the-counter medication, and (usually in stronger doses) on prescription. Codeine-based drugs are typically prescribed as narcotic analgesics or antitussives for various upper-respiratory conditions, including mild issues such as sinus allergies, cough and nasal congestion, colds, headaches and other pain.

Unfortunately, people have found a recreational use for its consumption – often in combination with other substances – thanks to its “numbing” and comforting effects. Most abusers don’t realise the danger they are exposed to, because they feel codeine is not a “hard” drug. Unfortunately, it has harmful side-effects. The warning signs can prompt you to get help immediately.

Codeine Abuse and Addiction Treatment

People who take codeine often start out using it as a medication for relatively common ailments. However, its soporific side-effects can cause use to become abuse. Abuse occurs when you take a drug for reasons other than those prescribed, or when you exceed the physician’s recommended dosage.

Codeine abuse can be both recreational and non-recreational. People who take it non-recreationally often use it as a mild sleeping drug, because of its somnolent properties, while recreational users consume the drug to feel ‘warm and relaxed’. Both instances are dangerous, as they lead to tolerance and have the potential to destroy a person’s life.

If you’ve been taking codeine for any of these reasons, the chances of abuse are high. Recreational use of codeine is also a gateway to other drugs, including opiates such as heroin.

What is Codeine Addiction?

Abusing codeine frequently causes changes to occur in the brain. It is a short-acting narcotic with highly addictive properties. When you take codeine, it stimulates the reward pathway in the brain by releasing certain neurotransmitters. The production of these chemical substances in the brain produces the intense feeling of pleasure many users experience.

However, continuous production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin (by repeated use and abuse) causes the brain to adjust to the sensations and reduce the intensity of pleasure. Users may increase the dosage to get that original sensation, thus building tolerance.

Tolerance occurs when the opioid receptors in the brain have been restructured to accept the chemical effect of codeine as ‘natural’. Tolerance builds up with prolonged usage, until a physical or psychological dependence (addiction) is formed.

If you are dependent on codeine, suddenly discontinuing its use will trigger severely uncomfortable symptoms known as withdrawal.

Warning Signs of Codeine Abuse and Addiction

How do you know if a loved one is abusing or addicted to codeine? There are certain signs and symptoms to look for; like most addictive drugs, the signs can be physical, psychological or behavioural. However, symptoms vary between individuals, depending on the quantity consumed and the length of drug usage.

Mood symptoms include:

  • Euphoria
  • Calmness
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety
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Physical symptoms include:

  • Blue tinge on the fingernails and lips
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Disorientation
  • Fainting
  • Rashes and itching
  • Low sex drive
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Seizures

Behavioural symptoms include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Increased sleeping patterns
  • Reduced appetite
  • Lack of interest/motivation
  • Doctor shopping; visiting different doctors for more codeine prescriptions
  • Stealing prescriptions or opiates from family and friends
  • Prescription forgery
  • Frequent hospital visits

Psychological symptoms include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Nightmares
  • Impaired memory
  • Emotional absence

Effects: Short and Long-Term

Codeine may be a prescription drug, but its abuse has adverse effects on users, both short- and long-term. People who overdose may experience immediate effects on their health.

Short-term effects of codeine abuse include:

  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Reduced heart rates (bradycardia)
  • Uncontrollable muscle spasms
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Depression (especially after the drug wears off)
  • Financial difficulty
  • Low productivity/motivation (job loss, poor school performance)
  • Inability to maintain relationships/friendships
  • Domestic problems with family

Long-term effects of codeine abuse include:

  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Liver complications
  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Kidney damage
  • Psychological health disorders
  • Coma
  • Death

Withdrawal for Codeine

Codeine abuse causes psychological dependence. This means users who suddenly discontinue using it experience severe symptoms that cause them to seek the drug. Its withdrawal symptoms are mainly psychological, but with some physical discomfort:

  • Intense cravings
  • Profuse sweating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Runny nose
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Homicidal thoughts
  • Running thoughts

If you are thinking of quitting ‘cold turkey’, ensure you have a qualified medical professional with you. However, the best place for treatment is always at an accredited rehab centre.

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Why You Should Seek Treatment and Rehab for Codeine Abuse and Addiction

Codeine addiction (like any other drug addiction) has the potential to destroy your life. Besides the danger to health, people who suffer dependence tend to live a lonely, isolated life, partly because of the shame which may result from addiction and partly because the consumption of the drug becomes a user’s main or sole priority. Addiction also prevents you from functioning normally in a working society.

Seeking treatment from a reliable professional or rehab centre will save you from a life of dependence, uncertainty and ruin. You will start life afresh as a clean, sober individual. Many former addicts have gone on to fulfil their dreams and lead happy, successful lives.

How to Help a Loved One find Treatment

Most people who abuse codeine don’t realise the damage they cause themselves. It’s possible that your loved one or family member may be taking it merely as an analgesic, but the moment they deviate from its intended purpose, it becomes abuse.

Some family members often notice signs of unusual behaviour, but fail to approach the individual. If you suspect something odd and don’t take corrective measures, you could be enabling the person in their substance usage. People who are dependent on drugs are not only a risk to themselves, but to their family and friends around them.

If you notice the signs and symptoms of drug abuse, find the right time to discuss it with the user. Try to be empathetic and let them understand how addiction hurts them and the people they love. If they are aggressive or in denial, it might help to plan an intervention.

Interventions should be organised carefully. The objective is not to confront the abuser, but help them see why professional treatment is important.

Why Seek Rehab at a Treatment Centre for Codeine Addiction?

There are many treatment centres for drug abuse and addiction, and they can help you recover from your problem. Choosing a treatment centre that specialises in codeine addiction offers a targeted approach and improves the quality of recovery.

For example, during detox, a codeine centre is well-equipped to handle any complications that may arise from withdrawal. There are also doctors trained to recognise any issues associated with codeine dependence and treat them before they exacerbate.

In therapy, addiction counsellors experienced in codeine abuse can easily provide established techniques for full recovery and relapse prevention. Although each patient is unique, working with a specialist helps make the road to recovery a lot easier.

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Codeine Addiction Treatment

If you’re struggling to quit codeine abuse, there are various options available. Finding the right treatment early enough can help you live a life free of addiction and pain. If you’re concerned about a loved one and suspect they may be dependent on codeine or any other opioid, contact a professional for help.

Treatment often consist of two stages; detox and rehabilitation therapy. While detox alone is not considered a treatment, it is a necessary first step to recovery. Detox puts the patient through withdrawal, so that they can fully focus on correctional therapies whilst in rehab. Each rehab centre has a unique treatment programme, so ensure you are comfortable with their methods before making a financial commitment.

In addition to detox and checking into a rehab facility, you could also:

  • Join a Narcotics Anonymous group
  • Participate in a 12-step programme or non-12-step recovery programme like SMART Recovery

Codeine Detox

The withdrawal symptoms for codeine depend on the individual’s level of addiction. This stems from their history of drug use, quantity, frequency and duration. It is important for a physician to know this, so they can prepare for any potential difficulties during the detox process. Detox purges the body of all traces of codeine. This makes it easier for patients to receive rehab treatment.

Rehabilitation Programme for Codeine Addiction

There is often a psychological reason for drug abuse. During rehab, an addiction counsellor tries to uncover the root of the problem using various techniques. In addition, counsellors practice various ways to help the individual overcome their cravings and avoid relapse.

After rehab, an ongoing aftercare programme is necessary to maintain sobriety. It encourages the use of strong support networks to build strength and resistance to drug abuse.

Codeine Dependence: Treatment Suggestions

If you have a codeine dependence problem, speak to an addiction expert. You will be given various suggestions about how to approach treatment. There are two major options:

  • Inpatient rehab care
  • Outpatient rehab care

An inpatient programme is a full residential treatment service. It operates as a recovery clinic, where you check in for a few weeks or months, depending on how severe the addiction is. Many experts advise this option because it eliminates outside distractions and gives patients access to 24-hour professional help.

The outpatient programme is a more flexible arrangement, where patients visit the clinic from their home or workplace. Although it is ideal for busy individuals, there is the danger of exposure to drugs before recovery is complete.

A doctor will advise you to choose the inpatient treatment if your codeine dependence level is high. It provides full, uninterrupted care from addiction professionals in a controlled environment. However, if your level of dependence is low and you’re unable to take a break from your day-to-day activities (work, school etc.), the outpatient treatment is a suitable option.

Rehab offers various treatment programmes, depending on the particular counsellor or centre. There are orthodox programmes, such as behavioural techniques aimed at helping patients change their mindset and behaviour towards codeine. Some centres prefer alternative treatment programme, such as massage therapy or acupuncture.

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What is Codeine Rehab Like?

If you opt for an inpatient programme, you’ll be required to check in for a few weeks. On the first day (before detox), you will be asked various questions about your codeine usage habits. Doctors use this information to determine the level of drug dependence. Some medical tests may be carried out to determine the quantity of codeine in your system.

During detox, withdrawal can be unpleasant, but standard rehabs have round-the-clock medical supervision. Special medication for pain and antipsychotics are administered to reduce discomfort.

After detox, a counsellor offers one-on-one sessions, as well as group therapy with other patients in the rehabilitation centre. Some clinics offer holistic therapies, including fitness programmes to boost motivation. The general environment and ambience of most codeine rehabs are designed to provide a relaxing experience for recovering patients.

Treatment and Therapy Options

There are several principles for addiction treatment. Addiction is a multifaceted problem, but it can be treated effectively. Some popular therapy options in rehab include:

  • Behavioural therapy
  • Contingency management
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Rational emotive behavioural therapy
  • Person-centred therapy

Depending on their specialisation, a counsellor may use one of more of these methods for their patients.

Choosing the Best Codeine Rehab Centre

The type of rehab centre you choose is vital to the quality of treatment you will receive. When choosing a rehabilitation centre, avoid using only price or proximity as a yardstick.

Factors to look for include:

  • Type of treatment programme (therapy)
  • Qualification and experience of the physicians
  • Quality of the facility
  • Satisfaction of previous patients
  • Look and feel of the general environment
  • Success rate

Success is dependent on the patient’s commitment to full recovery.

Continuing and Follow-up Care

After rehab, you’ll be advised to build a strong support network that includes your family, trusted friends, recovered users, Narcotics Anonymous and so on. They will serve as a foundation for support and assistance when you feel challenges or the urge to relapse. Many rehabs provide follow-up care to help sustain sobriety and ensure your full recovery.

Relapse Prevention

Going through rehab does not guarantee immunity to relapse. Many former abusers admit that the post-rehab period was one of the most trying times for them.

To avoid relapse:

  • Don’t isolate yourself from friends and family.
  • Stay with someone you can trust, at least until you are sure of your strength
  • Always attend weekly meetings at your local rehab centre
  • Volunteer

A busy mind keeps you motivated and builds resolve against cravings.

Codeine Treatment: Costs and Payment Options

The cost of rehab usually depends on the type of facility you use. Luxury rehab centres will naturally cost more than standard rehabs, because they provide extra facilities and services.

However, the treatment programme and rehab therapy are the most important things to consider. There are other rehabs that may not offer luxury, but the quality and comfort are sufficient for recovery. Payment methods may vary from full to initial deposit or even instalment options.


What are the Effects of Codeine on the Body?

Immediate effects of using codeine include euphoria, relaxation and calm. However, as the drug wears off, users begin to suffer symptoms such as anxiety, mood swings, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Prolonged abuse leads to health risks like respiratory depression, psychosis, urinary retention, seizures and in extreme cases, death.

Why is Codeine Addictive?

Codeine is an opiate pain reliever (in the same family as morphine) so it influences the release of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. These substances produce a pleasant feeling, which causes the user to take more of the drug. Tolerance occurs when the brain changes its structure to recognise the effect of codeine. It increases with the combination of other substances like alcohol or benzodiazepine. As tolerance builds up, so does addiction to codeine.

How do I Know if I am Addicted to Codeine?

Self-diagnosis for codeine dependence is as easy as measuring how often you take the drug. Do you experience cravings if you don’t use codeine? Do you take more than the recommended quantity prescribed by a physician? If you suffer withdrawal symptoms any time you don’t use codeine, then you are probably addicted.

How much does Codeine Treatment Cost?

There is no standard cost for codeine addiction treatment, because different rehabs use different methods and resources for treatment. The cost also depends on the type of programme. Inpatient rehab service costs more than the outpatient rehab programme, because the former offers full residential care.

What is Codeine Treatment?

People who abuse codeine develop a substance addiction. Addiction to any drug (even a prescription drug) has the potential to ruin a person’s life and cause severe side effects if not treated. Codeine treatment aims to help abusers quit and overcome dependence.

How is Codeine Treatment Performed?

People addicted to codeine must undergo withdrawal before full treatment can occur. Codeine treatment starts with detoxification, where a doctor supervises the expulsion of remnants of the drug from the body. After that, a counsellor provides rehabilitation therapy to help patients learn how to beat cravings and stay sober. An aftercare programme continues when you leave rehab.

What types of Codeine Addiction Treatment Programmes are Available?

There are two types of addiction treatment programme; inpatient and outpatient treatment. Codeine abusers who want comprehensive care opt for inpatient treatment, as they can focus 100% on recovery, without distractions from work or other parts of their personal life. Outpatient programmes are also effective, but expose patients to influences from the outside world.

Do I need an Inpatient Codeine Rehab Facility?

This will depend on your preference, but based on the level of your addiction to codeine, an inpatient service is suitable for people with strong dependence. A doctor will test you to determine how severe withdrawal might be. Inpatient rehab service provides access to 24-hour medical care to eliminate any chances of temptation.

How long does Codeine Rehab last?

The duration for rehab varies with the patient’s level of addiction. If you have been taking large doses of codeine for a long time, you will likely have a high addiction. This means withdrawal may last longer. The longer your withdrawal symptoms last, the longer your stay in rehab will be. People with less dependence may spend 25 to 30 days, while heavier addictions may last longer.

Are Codeine Rehabs Private and Confidential?

Yes, there are private and confidential rehabs. For those who would rather keep their treatment discreet, many centres in the UK offer complete privacy. This service is common with public personalities, who stand a better chance of recovery in a private environment.

Is there a Codeine Treatment Programme for Kids?

Many rehab centres provide exclusive treatment programmes for teenagers. This is because therapy for younger people tends to differ to that of elders. In addition to treatment, there are educational classes to keep them from missing out entirely at school. Some programmes also include extracurricular activities to encourage exercise and motivation.

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