If you are in an immediate emergency, call 911. If you are looking for more information on substance abuse treatment and it is not a medical emergency, call our 24/7 Codeine Helpline at 407-680-1226.
Codeine is an opioid medication that is much weaker than morphine, heroin and many other opioid drugs. However, people can still become dependent on codeine within a short period of time, especially if they are using it regularly or at high doses. A person with codeine dependence will experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug, which makes them want to take it again.
The fear of experiencing painful symptoms is often enough to steer some people away from quitting codeine. However, medical assistance can help ease any uncomfortable symptoms that arise during the codeine withdrawal process. For many, attending a medical detox program is the first step to quitting codeine for good.
When someone takes an opioid like codeine regularly, their brain and body try to adjust to the drug’s constant presence. Eventually, the brain and body will no longer function normally without the presence of the drug. This process is how dependence develops. If the brain is suddenly deprived of codeine after dependence sets in, the central nervous system becomes disoriented as it tries to recalibrate to the drug’s absence. This state of recalibration is withdrawal, and it often leads to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms and side effects.
Common signs of codeine withdrawal can seem like a case of the flu. Common symptoms of codeine withdrawal include:
For people who have used codeine for a long time, symptoms can be significantly worse and may require medical intervention. It’s best to consult a professional before trying to end codeine use.
Additionally, many codeine withdrawal symptoms are the reverse of symptoms caused by codeine. For example, while codeine use can cause constipation, withdrawal may make a person develop diarrhea. Similarly, codeine usually causes sleepiness, while withdrawal can lead to trouble sleeping.
Codeine is a short-acting opioid that is quickly absorbed by the body, and its effects are felt rapidly. It is also eliminated from the body quickly, so codeine withdrawal symptoms will usually appear within eight to 24 hours after the last dose is taken.
Codeine withdrawal is not usually life-threatening. However, people who experience strong symptoms whenever they try to reduce their codeine dose should speak to their doctor to ensure detox will be safe. Those who have been combining codeine with other drugs or alcohol should also speak with a doctor before detoxing.
Though withdrawal symptoms may vary in levels of discomfort and length, most people experience a similar timeline of events during codeine withdrawal and detox:
Codeine withdrawal is not a pleasant experience, but it is necessary to break the dependence on the medication. Fortunately, when treatment has proper medical supervision, the worst of the codeine detox symptoms can be effectively managed.
The codeine withdrawal process varies from person to person, and your withdrawal experience will not be identical to anyone else’s. However, there are some factors that can influence the duration and severity of codeine withdrawal. These include:
Detox is the first step in the treatment of drug addiction. Codeine is eliminated from the body during detox, leading to a number of different withdrawal symptoms. It is possible for some people to only experience minor effects of withdrawal during and after detox. However, attempting detox at home can be dangerous partly because withdrawal-managing medications are not readily available to relieve discomfort. The discomfort of withdrawal often causes people to relapse in an attempt to relieve the pain.
If a person relapses during detox, they might return to the dosage they were using before they tried to quit. However, the body might not be able to handle the high volume of the substance after a period of sobriety. This overload of codeine can lead to serious injury or an overdose. For this reason, choosing to undergo detox at a medical facility that provides 24-hour supervision is a much safer option.
The best way to get through codeine withdrawal is with the help of medical professionals who can prescribe medications, monitor your health and treat withdrawal symptoms as they occur. This is especially important if you have co-occurring mental or physical health problems.
For many, attending medical detox at a professional rehab facility like the Orlando Recovery Center is a highly effective first step. Located on the banks of Lake Ellenor near downtown Orlando, our 93-bed treatment center can provide the help you need to overcome codeine use and begin the recovery journey. Our team of addiction experts and medical staff oversee each step of the treatment process, providing you with around-the-clock care as you work toward a healthier, codeine-free future.
If you or someone you know is struggling with codeine use in the Central Florida area, the Orlando Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn more about addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation.
The Recovery Village 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.