Codeine Addiction: Abuse Signs, Effects & Treatment

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A Guide to Treatment for Codeine Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to codeine, it’s essential to get help before the addiction progresses. A rehab center can help treat the many symptoms of codeine withdrawal and guide you through detoxification so that your body can return to homeostasis.

Codeine Withdrawal

Is Codeine Addictive

Codeine is a widely prescribed narcotic pain medication that can be highly addictive and dangerous when abused. Codeine is an opiate that affects the brain’s central nervous system, creating euphoric feelings, shivers, and lethargy. Over time, abuse can lead to drug addiction, and severe use can lead to mental health disorders and physical dependence.

Codeine Addiction Timeline

Codeine addiction can change your life, health, and your relationships with the people around you. Here is a timeline of events that occur during codeine addiction.

Early Use of Codeine

The first use of the drug can cause feelings of relaxation and euphoria. The person might enjoy using the drug more often to achieve more feelings that are similar to the initial experience.

Using Codeine Regularly

Regular use of the drug can result in chemical dependence on an individual’s body. If they stop using the drug, the person will experience physical and emotional symptoms.

Physical Dependence

The regular and excessive use of codeine can lead to physical dependence. The person will experience withdrawal symptoms as a result of stopping the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can be subdued if an individual continues to use the drug.


When an individual uses the drug, it increases their tolerance for the drug. This means that the person will need more of the drug to achieve the same feeling. This can result in an addiction to codeine.

Signs of Codeine Addiction

If you are addicted to codeine, you will notice some of the following symptoms and signs of codeine abuse.


The desire to use codeine or take more than the prescribed amount can lead to cravings. If you find yourself craving more drugs and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, this is an indication that you are hooked on codeine.


The drug can create feelings of irritability and sleeping problems when a person is abusing it. If you find yourself feeling irritable for no reason, it is possible that you are addicted to the drug and need help.

Altered Thinking

The brain’s chemical makeup and functioning can be altered when codeine is abused, which can lead to distorted thinking. This can manifest in the form of hallucinations and delusions, which indicates a possible codeine addiction.

Excessive use

If you start using the drug excessively, you have already crossed the line and are showing dangerous signs of addiction. It is important to seek help for a codeine addiction as soon as possible before the problem worsens.

Codeine Withdrawal

Withdrawal is characterized by both physical and mental symptoms, which occur when a person tries to stop using codeine.

Physical Symptoms

The drug can alter the body’s natural chemistry and create several physical symptoms that you will have to endure if you are trying to quit abusing codeine.


When a person tries to stop using the drug, they are likely to experience tremors, which can last up to several weeks after quitting. These tremors are caused by strong cravings for codeine and withdrawal symptoms.


The drug can cause nausea to develop, which is caused by the brain’s chemistry and physical reactions that occur when withdrawal symptoms occur. Some people experience vomiting or stomach cramping when they try to quit using codeine.

Muscle Pain

Using codeine for a long time can cause muscle spasms and pain within the back, muscles, and bones. The drug can also lead to extreme pain in the chest or abdomen area.


Codeine can cause sweating due to a person’s mental state and general anxiety, which increases when a person tries to quit.

Mental Symptoms

Some people develop mental symptoms when they try to quit due to the body’s severe reaction to withdrawal.


The drug can cause depression and emotional changes that are caused by the brain coming back to its normal functioning after quitting codeine.


Abusing the drug can cause anxiety and paranoia, which is a sign that you are addicted. If you experience intense feelings of anxiety, it can trigger suicidal thoughts.


Codeine can cause hallucinations, which can affect the person’s physical and visual surroundings. The person might see things that are not there or hear voices and sound effects as a result of the drug.


Delirium is a symptom of codeine withdrawal. Delirium is characterized by a severe mental state and confusion, which is typical during the detox phase. You can experience this as a result of hallucinations, anxiety, and depression.

Codeine Addiction Treatment

If you are addicted to codeine, it is important to try to stop using the drug before your body and life become unmanageable. Here are the treatment options that can be implemented for codeine abuse.


If you are addicted to the drug, you should talk to a rehabilitation expert about the acupuncture treatment option. Acupuncture therapy involves the insertion of thin needles into your body to achieve euphoric feelings and relieve pain. The process is done under the supervision of a professional so that it does not cause more harm to the individual’s body.


If you are addicted to the drug, you might need to go through a detoxification process so that the drug can be completely flushed out of your system. The detoxification process is done in a specific medical setting, and detox supports your body through the withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Care

Most people who are addicted to codeine find this a very helpful way of stopping their addiction. Inpatient treatment involves staying in a medical facility for at least three to six months. The goal is to deal with the physical craving for the drug, emotional and mental distress caused by addiction and withdrawal, and the challenges that occur when trying to quit. This type of treatment is effective when combined with other therapies such as acupuncture, physical exercise, or yoga.

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care is more common in the treatment options that are available for addiction. If a person is addicted to codeine, they can choose from a range of outpatient options to assist them in quitting.

Support Groups

These are forms of counseling and therapy sessions that help people recover from codeine addiction. Support groups are held in many rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and communities. These groups provide a safe place for people to discuss the problems caused by addiction and to receive support and advice from other people who have experienced the same challenges.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of counseling and therapy that helps a person analyze the thoughts that are responsible for the major issues that are faced during codeine withdrawal. Cognitive-behavioral therapy enables the person to develop better ways of thinking and analyzing behavior and decisions.


Meditation can be used as an effective method to help ease the anxiety and stress caused by addiction. Meditation helps a person focus on the thoughts and feelings that are responsible for causing addiction. It also helps the person to stop and understand the ways of thinking that lead to the abuse of codeine.


Physical exercise is often used as a rehabilitation technique in the treatment of codeine addiction. Physical exercise helps to strengthen the areas that have been affected by addiction. This helps to reduce the symptoms associated with withdrawal.

What to Expect During Treatment of Codeine Addiction

The treatment process happens in phases. Here is what you need to expect for each phase of codeine addiction treatment.

The Initial Phase

In the initial phase, you are admitted to a rehabilitation center and get treatment for the withdrawal symptoms. You will be given medications to help with the physical symptoms of addiction and counseling sessions.

The Initial Detox

You go through the detox phase in a rehab center. This is the first phase of detox, where you receive support and treatment for withdrawal symptoms and to ease anxiety, which is common during this phase.

The Rehabilitation Phase

After going through the initial phase of detox, you move to the rehabilitation phase in a rehab center. In this phase, your mind and body begin to heal from the symptoms caused by drug abuse. You receive counseling and therapy sessions to learn how to deal with emotional, physical, and mental symptoms and build a healthier lifestyle.

The Post-Rehabilitation Phase

The purpose of this phase is to ensure that the treatment approach is working. This phase includes a review of the goals that were set at the beginning of the treatment, an evaluation of your progress, and a follow-up with your doctor and therapist. This is where continuous treatment can help you stay away from codeine addiction.

How Rehab Centers Help in Treatment

If you are addicted to codeine, you can choose from several treatment options. Here is how a rehab center can help in the treatment process for codeine addiction.

The Medical Expertise

Rehab centers have medical experts that can provide you with the best treatment options for withdrawal symptoms. The medical experts can determine which treatment option is best for you and your condition. They will help you to deal with the withdrawal symptoms and to tolerate past experiences of substance abuse and drug dependence.

The Program

A rehabilitation center will provide the best drug treatment and rehabilitation options that are available. The program will include counseling, therapy, and medical assistance. The aim of the program is to help you to become a healthy person by changing your lifestyle, thoughts, and behaviors related to drug abuse. There are different types of programs, such as inpatient rehabs, outpatient rehabs, daycare centers, residential facilities, and intensive programs.

The Community

A rehab center will provide you with a support group or group counseling sessions that help you to connect with other addicts. You will also be trained to find resources that can help in the withdrawal process, such as medical appointments and family therapy. As you are recovering, you will be able to have a healthy social life and regain important relationships that have been lost due to the addiction process.

The Motivation and Goals

The rehab center will support you to be motivated to stop the addiction process. The staff and counselors will help you develop a plan that will help you in achieving your goals. They will help you to find meaning and purpose in your life again.

How to Find the Best Codeine Rehab Center

When you want to get treatment for codeine addiction, it is important to consider several things.


If you need the best treatment for codeine addiction, it is important to look for a rehab center that is close to where you live. This will cut down on travel time and allow you to focus on the important things in your life.

The Treatment Method

Different treatment methods are available for codeine addiction. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. The treatment method must be customized to suit you comfortably.

The Staff

It is important to ensure that the staff at the rehab center have the experience and skills needed to treat you. Your counselor should be licensed, knowledgeable, and experienced. This will help them provide you with the best treatment that can work for you.

Codeine addiction is not a simple issue to handle. You have to be aware of the severity of this condition before you take the necessary steps to recover from it. If you want to stop codeine abuse, contact your doctor and ask for professional help. There are several treatment options available to help you deal with the dangers and risks involved in codeine addiction. Rehab centers and treatment for codeine addiction are available to help you. If you or your loved one has signs of codeine addiction, you should seek addiction treatment to help you overcome the addiction.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis

Dr. John Elgin Wilkaitis completed medical school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center and residency in general psychiatry in 2003. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2005. Following this, he served as Chief Medical Officer for 10 years of Brentwood Behavioral Healthcare a private health system including a 105-bed hospital, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient services.

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