Home Drug Rehab Codeine Addiction: Some Important Facts Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Codeine Abuse and Addiction

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Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Codeine Abuse and Addiction

Codeine is extensively used in United States for the management of pain. Most of the prescription pain killers including codeine have been known to be habit forming. Almost all of the codeine addicts start taking the drug for therapeutic purposes but end up becoming addicted to it without even realizing it. The biggest mistake that people make is thinking that they can increase the dose on their own and they can quit the drug whenever they want. They only realize that the situation has gotten out of the hand when they fail to give up on the drug even after making repeated attempts. At this stage, recovery is very difficult without a specialized rehabilitation program. Because of the easy availability of codeine, there is a high risk of its abuse and addiction. Also, codeine addiction is easier to hide so you might not know when a loved one is suffering from this pain. According to statistics, about 1.9 million Americans have a prescription painkiller abuse disorder. Following are a few signs and symptoms that may help you to find out if a loved one is struggling with codeine addiction.

Table of Contents

  • Signs of Codeine Abuse
  • Symptoms of Codeine Abuse
  • Side Effects of Codeine Abuse
    • Short Term Side Effects
    • Long Term Side Effects

Signs of Codeine Abuse:

Codeine addiction can be somewhat difficult to detect because many people start taking codeine as a prescription medication unaware of the fact that they can become addicted to it sooner than they think. Codeine is less potent than other opioids but when it comes to its abuse, it can be just as much addictive as other opioids. If a loved one is taking prescription codeine, make sure to keep a check. Here are a few characters that addicted individuals may exhibit:

Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Codeine Abuse and Addiction
  • Tolerance: Development of tolerance is one of the earliest signs of addiction. The user takes more and more amounts of the drug to produce desired side effects.
  • Severe cravings: Severe cravings are produced when the drug is not taken forcing the user to consume the drug.
  • Inability to control amounts taken: When an attempt is made to bring down codeine consumption, it results into a failure.
  • Inability to fulfill duties: The addict’s performance declines in real life. He fails to fulfill his duties and meet deadlines. Poor performance at school or office can also be an indication.
  • Always trying to get more codeine: The addict will try to get codeine without having a medical need for it. A failure in getting codeine results into anger and frustration.
  • Compulsive usage: The addict takes the drug without a need and uses any method necessary to get the drug such as going to different doctors and pharmacies. He keeps taking the drug over and over again.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: Withdrawal symptoms start to appear when the drug is not taken. Any attempt made to quit the usage of drug ends in vain. However, people who take it for therapeutic purposes exactly as prescribed y their doctor do not experience any such symptoms.

Symptoms of Codeine Abuse:

Codeine abuse can be very dangerous if prolonged. A number of physical, behavioral and mental symptoms are associated with codeine abuse.

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Secretive/ suspicious behavior
  • Excessive aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to maintain relationships
  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

Physical symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Problems with vision

It is important to pay close attention to these signs and symptom when you suspect a loved one of abusing codeine. If left unattended, even the overdose can be resulted and death is possible.

Speak to a Codeine Intake Coordination Specialist now.

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Side Effects of Codeine Abuse:

Codeine has been known to cause a number of physical and mental health problems in addicts. Prolonged use of codeine can result into even permanent damage. A number of long term and short term side effects are produced by codeine abuse as mentioned below:

Short term side effects:

Short term side effects may vary from user to user and also depending upon amount of codeine taken. These side effects may range from mild to severe. Some of the common short term side effects associated with codeine abuse include:

  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Itching or rashes on skin
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Stomachache
  • Seizures

Long term side effects:

Prolonged use of codeine results into permanent damage to health. Long term effects produced by codeine may include:


  • Impaired memory
  • Depression
  • Muscular spasm
  • Anxiety
  • Live damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Exhaustion
  • Death

It is important to be extremely careful while dealing with addictive drugs. If a loved one is taking codeine for therapeutic purposes, make sure to keep an eye on them and monitor their drug usage. If any of the above mentioned behavioral and physical symptoms are observed in them, look out for the truth. If your loved one is abusing codeine, plan an intervention and get them all the help necessary before it is too late. Drug addiction is a serious disease that needs just as serious treatment as any other disease. It is time we understand the severity of matter and help our loved ones rather than leaving them alone to fight this battle.


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