Codeine Abuse & Addiction in Orlando

Codeine belongs to a class of medications called opiates. Codeine’s purpose in the medical world is to relieve mild to moderate pain and is sometimes used to suppress coughing. Even though codeine may help relieve painful symptoms temporarily, it will likely not treat the symptoms or speed up recovery. When codeine is used to treat pain, it works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to the pain. When codeine is used as a cough suppressant, it works by slowing the brain activity in the region of the brain that causes coughing.

Codeine may be prescribed in pill or liquid form. This medication is considered a gateway drug to other opiates, including morphine and possibly heroin.

Is Codeine Addictive?

An addiction to codeine may develop from repeated codeine abuse. People often feel a false sense of protection from addiction because they believe prescription medications are not addictive. However, many prescription medications can lead to addiction when not taken as a doctor has suggested.

Many people who abuse codeine try to reach a greater high by mixing the drug with other substances, such as alcohol. Because codeine and alcohol are both nervous system depressants, combining the two can lead to dangerous effects in the brain.

Taking codeine affects the nervous system by flooding the brain with dopamine at a higher level than what could be naturally produced. The brain will want to continue the rewarding effect and will seek out the substance that activated the pleasurable response. This reward-seeking cycle may leads to continued codeine abuse and.

Signs of Codeine Abuse

Because codeine is an easily obtained legal substance, it may be difficult to recognize the difference between use, abuse and addiction unless someone is regularly around the person. However, there are a few revealing signs that something may be wrong, such as ignoring personal responsibilities and taking doses more often.

The use of codeine suppresses feelings of pain. The longer a person uses codeine, the more likely they are to develop a codeine addiction as their body will crave the substance. Once a person builds a physical tolerance to the drug, they will require more of it to achieve the previous euphoric feelings. With prolonged use, codeine is needed for the person to simply feel normal. Addiction comes with a worsened fear of coping with day-to-day tasks without the drug.

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The symptoms of codeine abuse vary from person to person and depend greatly on the length of time someone abuses codeine, the amount used and the frequency of usage. Codeine abuse may cause a person to struggle with temporary depression or anxiety and exude a lack of emotion. The person will often have a sense of calmness and euphoria about them while taking the drug.

Symptoms of codeine abuse may be mental, behavioral and physical. Some of the most common symptoms are:

Mental symptoms include:

  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Increased mental illness symptoms
  • Decreased memory

Behavioral symptoms include:

  • Social isolation from loved ones
  • Forging prescriptions to obtain more codeine
  • Visiting multiple doctors to obtain greater amounts of codeine
  • Frequent hospital visits with complaints of pain
  • Financial and relationship problems
  • Legal problems
  • Lying to hide the amount of codeine being abused
  • Poor work or school performance

Physical symptoms:

  • Blue lips and fingernail beds
  • Dizziness, fainting and seizures
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation and urinary retention from dehydration
  • Itching and rashes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Decreased sex drive

Addiction to codeine generally occurs through the abuse of liquid cough syrup containing codeine. This liquid medication holds highly addictive properties. Excessive use of codeine is related to medical issues, such as memory lapse and insomnia. Codeine addiction can be dangerous and require close medical attention to overcome withdrawal from the drug. Used through the ages for managing chronic pain, codeine and other opiates are becoming the drug of choice for many people.

Codeine Abuse and Addiction in Orlando

Opiates are now the most commonly abused drug in America, specifically Florida. Codeine is often a drug of abuse because of its powerful pain-reducing effects. In higher doses, codeine can lead to a pleasing euphoric sensation. When opiates enter the brain, they activate the reward system, releasing excessive amounts of pleasurable hormones. It is this feeling of pleasure that people who use codeine crave. Stopping the use of codeine and it’s short-lived yet pleasurable side effects, is challenging without professional treatment.

With thousands of treatment centers in America, not all of them will have the resources to fit each person’s specific needs. A center that treats addiction for other drugs, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders, is important for successful recovery.

Codeine Abuse Facts and Statistics in Florida

Visits to the emergency room, which are linked to painkillers, increased by 152 percent between 2004 and 2008. Additionally, here is estimated to be around 33 million people using codeine every year according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Some prescription medications for coughs and colds, like codeine, contain mind-altering properties. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that because of these psychedelic qualities, codeine is often abused by ingesting higher doses than recommended.

Some other facts about codeine addiction include:

  • Codeine effects start around 10 to 30 minutes after taking it and last from four to six hours.
  • Codeine can depress breathing and other essential bodily functions.
  • A physical and psychological codeine addiction can develop even after just two weeks of continual use.

As with other opioids, codeine abuse and addiction are problems in Florida. If you or someone you know is currently using codeine and needs help in the Orlando, Florida area, Orlando Recovery Center can help. To learn more about wide-ranging treatment options for codeine addiction, call the Orlando Recovery Center to speak with a representative.

Medical Disclaimer: Orlando Recovery Center aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.