Dealing With Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Man Coughing

Codeine is an opioid medication commonly used for treating pain as well as cold symptoms, like a heavy cough. It is classified as a narcotic, although it is milder than other opioids, like oxycodone and heroin. While it is not as potent as many other opioids, it still has the potential to cause dependence or addiction.

Signs of Codeine Misuse and Dependence

Signs of codeine dependence can be hard to recognize. These indicators include:

  • Using codeine even when there are no symptoms
  • Taking codeine at a higher dose or more frequently than prescribed
  • Finding that codeine is less effective when you take it as prescribed
  • Taking other drugs or using alcohol to intensify the effects of codeine
  • Going to different doctors (doctor-shopping) to get more codeine before your refill period comes
  • Having symptoms of withdrawal when you stop using codeine

If you deal with codeine addiction, you may compulsively seek the substance despite knowing the health, social and legal ramifications of these actions. Codeine addiction is a substance use disorder that may require treatment.

What Is Codeine Withdrawal Like?

Codeine withdrawal can include any number of uncomfortable or painful symptoms that occur when you stop using the drug. Some of the more mild symptoms of codeine withdrawal are irritability and mood swings, sleep disturbances, body aches, watery eyes, runny nose, sweating and yawning excessively.

Codeine withdrawal can start just a few hours after the last dose of the drug. It can get progressively worse for a period of several days.

Some more severe symptoms of codeine withdrawal include changes in appetite, abdominal pain, goosebumps, chills, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, enlarged pupils and intense cravings for the drug.

In some cases, withdrawal symptoms could be dangerous or even deadly. Prolonged diarrhea and vomiting could lead to dehydration and weakness that could make it difficult to take care of yourself if you are alone while detoxing.

Patient in hospital bed

Benefits of Medical Detox

Medical detox from codeine dependence or addiction is recommended to avoid illness, weakness and the strong temptation to go back to using the drug to relieve uncomfortable and painful symptoms.

Medical detox means that you will not be alone while detoxing. Detox allow medical professionals to treat medical complications that might arise during the process.

There are also medications that can ease some detox symptoms and help you be more comfortable as the codeine leaves your system. These medications need to be administered by the medical staff. Even if you do not experience dangerous complications, it might be better to undergo medical detox to increase your chances of a successful recovery.

Treatment staff can also administer a medication designed to cause a bad reaction if codeine or another opioid is used. Medications like this are designed to deter you from using again by making it unpleasant, and such medications can add accountability to the treatment plan.

There is help for codeine addiction and dependence. If you need help with dependence or misuse of codeine, one option is to call a codeine hotline for information about treatment options and other resources.

For more information about substance use disorder treatment, contact The Recovery Village Palmer Lake today.