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If you or a loved one are suffering from a codeine abuse problem, you’ve come to the right place. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health1, 10.1 million Americans misused prescription opioids that year. Codeine abuse is not uncommon. If you or a loved one are suffering from codeine abuse, you may want to keep reading.Learn more about the effects of codeine abuse, how to quit the habit, withdrawal, and treatment options. Codeine abuse can develop quickly and have a serious impact on your life. You don’t have to suffer alone. There is help out there for you.

What is Codeine?

Codeine is a pain reliever that should be for minimum to moderate pain. In small doses, it can help reduce coughing and relieve headaches. When a doctor prescribes codeine pills, it is usually to help a patient recovering from a minor surgery. Codeine can be taken for several weeks in some cases.When deciding whether or not codeine is the right pain treatment with you, your doctor will assess your health and your pain level. You should not increase the dose of codeine based on how you feel. You should always consult with your doctor if codeine is not working to help you.Codeine is an addictive pain medication. Patients who take codeine for long periods of time are at risk for developing dependency on it. Codeine can only treat pain symptoms in the short-term but it does not help speed healing or recovery. Codeine is a type of opiate, which means it is a narcotic. You should always use codeine with caution.Codeine can be safe to use in over-the-counter medications, but your body will be a tolerance to it. That means the more you take, the more you will need to take to feel the same effects. Even when using over-the-counter codeine mixed with acetaminophen, use with caution.Codeine may be habit-forming2 To avoid this, it is best to use codeine only when you are in real pain. And you should only be using it under the supervision of a medical professional. If you are using codeine regularly, you may be at risk for developing a dependency and may also be at risk of dangerous side effects.

What is Codeine Abuse?

Codeine abuse is when patients take far more codeine than they should. Your doctor may offer you codeine in the short-term after a medical procedure, but you should not be using it regularly for an extended period.If you are using codeine more than you should or increasing your dose without consultation, you may be suffering from codeine abuse. Your body may start to have a hard time dealing with pain if it begins to rely on codeine for relief. This will simply urge you to take even more. Codeine abuse can develop in anyone, but it is especially triggering for anyone who suffers from alcohol abuse disorder or substance abuse disorder. You may also be at increased risk3 for codeine abuse if you suffer from mental health problems such as depression. You should discuss this type of medical history with your doctor before taking codeine.Because codeine is a narcotic your body can build a tolerance to, it is very easy to take too much and develop dependency. Codeine abuse can lead to several health problems, including potentially-fatal breathing problems4

What Are the Side Effects of Codeine Abuse?

Codeine abuse can cause a number of physical and mental side effects. Long-term codeine use can even cause worse depression symptoms5 Here are some of the side effects of codeine abuse:

  • Agitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Sexual performance issues
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Rash
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Shallow breathing

Codeine abuse or codeine overdose can lead to similar symptoms but to a more severe degree. If you are abusing codeine and notice these symptoms worsening, call 911 immediately.There are also several long-term side effects to abusing codeine. Here are some of the symptoms you may experience if you are abusing codeine for a long time:

  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Muscle spasms
  • Impaired memory
  • Reduce cognitive function
  • Overdose
  • Death

The longer you suffer from codeine abuse, the greater your risk level. Taking codeine for too long in abusive doses can cause serious and irreparable harm. If you or a loved one is suffering from codeine abuse, the time to seek help is now.

How to Recover from Codeine Abuse

If you are suffering from codeine abuse, you will need to seek recovery therapy to help you overcome the addiction. Quitting codeine cold turkey is not a safe choice. It can force the body into a state of shock and cause severe withdrawal symptoms. It is safest to wean off of codeine with the supervision of a doctor or in a drug rehabilitation center like Windward Way Recovery.Recovering from codeine abuse is a long process. Pain killers block pain receptors in the brain but your body quickly builds a tolerance. If you are still experiencing pain, it may be difficult to quit. Speak to your doctor or a rehab center specialist to see what else you can safely take for your pain while you quit codeine.Recovering from codeine abuse means you will have to detox and go through the withdrawal phase. You will also have to get yourself into a treatment therapy program. Both inpatient and outpatient rehab care programs can help you stay sober after your complete withdrawal.Though codeine’s effects may leave your system quickly, you may still have codeine in your bloodstream for a few weeks or months. Depending on how much codeine you use, this process may be longer. Your best chances for successful recovery are to join a support group and seek therapy for your codeine abuse disorder.

How to Help a Loved One Suffering from Codeine Abuse

If you know a friend or relative who is suffering from codeine abuse, start by getting informed. Reach out to a drug rehabilitation facility like Windward Way Recovery and ask for information. To be able to truly help someone who is battling codeine abuse, you need to understand more about how codeine abuse affects the brain.We can also help you understand what the safest path to recovery will be for your loved one. If you would like to support your loved one through withdrawal and recovery, you need to first forgive them for their mistakes. Open your heart and your mind to being supportive and loving.A successful recovery depends on a strong support system. If you can offer love and support when your loved one is battling their toughest days, they are more likely to stay sober. Understand that codeine abuse is not your fault and it isn’t theirs. Substance abuse disorder is a disease and it can take control of the mind very quickly.Once you learn more about substance abuse disorder, you will be able to suggest different therapy programs for your loved one and support them in any way they need. The goal is to help the user find recovery.

Can You Die from Codeine Abuse?

Yes, codeine overdoses can be fatal. Codeine abuse can easily lead to an overdose. This is why codeine should be for patients who are being treated by a physician and why you should never tamper with dosage. Codeine abuse can cause lifelong health problems or severe organ damage. It can also cause permanent trauma to the brain.Neurotransmitters in the brain may suffer from irreversible damage if codeine abuse goes on for too long. To ensure you are not at risk for an overdose, never tamper with dosage. If you suspect you are developing an addiction to codeine, seek help. If you suspect a loved one is developing a codeine abuse problem, now is the time to seek help.

Withdrawal Symptoms for Codeine Abuse

Going through codeine abuse withdrawal can be tough. It will take a few days to a few weeks to complete codeine abuse withdrawal. Most symptoms will improve over the first few days. Though withdrawal can last weeks, the symptoms will not be severe the whole time. Here are some of the codeine abuse withdrawal symptoms you can expect:

  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Yawning
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Symptoms like depression and anxiety may worsen over the course of the first few weeks. But the physical symptoms should improve in the first few days. If you or your loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts or worse depression, contact emergency service right away for help.To be sure detox is safe do so under the supervision of a substance abuse rehabilitation professional. Both inpatient and outpatient care programs can be offered to help you or loved one safely go through codeine abuse withdrawal.If symptoms get severe, go to your local ER or call 911. In most cases, the symptoms of withdrawal will improve. If they do not, call for help. You can also help manage codeine withdrawal by treating the symptoms.Make sure you or your loved one remains hydrated throughout the withdrawal process. When it comes to food, the person suffering through withdrawal can benefit from a healthy and balanced diet. Eat whole foods, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Try to avoid fast food and other processed foods.If possible, get up and get active. Staying fit and exercising can help manage withdrawal symptoms better. Exercise also boosts endorphins which can improve irritability and mood swings. Getting proper sleep is also important. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Sleeping at regular times will improve your sleep cycle and proper sleep can help improve withdrawal symptoms. You or your loved one should follow up withdrawal with a therapy program to help them deal with the emotional and mental side effects of codeine abuse withdrawal. Call Windward Way Recovery today to see how we can help.

Where Can I Get Help for Codeine Abuse?

If you are suffering from codeine abuse or know someone who is, it’s time to get help. Millions of Americans are battling substance abuse disorder and help is out there. Windward Way Recovery can offer a vast array of treatment therapies that can really help. You can choose from group therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, nature therapy, and more.In most cases, a combination of therapies is the best solution. Therapy can help you get to the bottom of your substance abuse disorder. Therapy can also help you better understand addiction and how to stay sober for yourself and those around you. In the last decade, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths has increased seven-fold.Don’t wait for the problem to get worse. There is no shame in seeking help for codeine abuse or any other type of substance abuse disorder. This is a horrible disease that claims the lives of too many innocent people every year. With the right therapy and the right support around you, you can find your path to recovery.Reach out to Windward Way Recovery today to find the treatment program that is right for you. You are not alone. Together, we can help you achieve sobriety. One step at a time, you can beat codeine abuse for good.

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