Home Drug Rehab Codeine Addiction: Some Important Facts Codeine Withdrawal and Detoxification:

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Codeine Withdrawal and Detoxification:

Once the addiction has been developed, quitting codeine becomes very hard. The misleading belief that prescription drugs cannot result into any significant side effects worsens the situation even further. The fact is, any drug taken in higher than prescribed quantities can result into deadly consequences. No drug is safe unless it is taken exactly as prescribed. It is important to create awareness in this regard since prescription pain killers are most widely abused in United States. Just like any other drug, codeine abuse is associated with a number of physical and mental side effects. If yourself or a loved one is suffering from codeine addiction and is looking for a treatment, signing up for a rehabilitation center can be immensely helpful. Having a knowledge about the effects, dose, mode of action, side effects and withdrawal symptoms of a drug can help you understand your or a loved one’s situation in a better way and may help decide what type of treatment is needed.

Table of Contents

  • Withdrawal symptoms for codeine abuse
  • Detoxification process for codeine abuse
  • Is it possible to go through detox at home?
  • Medications used to ease withdrawal process
  • Withdrawal timeline for codeine
  • Is it possible to die from codeine withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms for codeine abuse:

Prolonged and excessive use of codeine has been known to cause physical dependence and once dependence is developed, quitting the drug results into the appearance of severe withdrawal symptoms. They might start to appear as early as few hours after the last drug dose. Symptoms produced by codeine are similar to other opiates but far less severe. They may range from mild to moderate for different users. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms associated with codeine abuse are:

Codeine Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Muscular pain
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pains
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Severe cravings

These symptoms are usually not as severe but there is always a chance for them to become worse. For example, diarrhea and vomiting can result into severe dehydration. Similarly, unattended depression may end up becoming so bad that the patient may end up hurting himself.

Detoxification process for codeine abuse:

Detoxification is a natural process by which the body gets itself rid of harmful chemicals accumulated due to prolonged drug abuse. Detoxification process is characterized by the appearance of withdrawal symptoms that tend to be most intense during this period. It is recommended to go through the process in a specialized detox or rehab center to ensure the success. Also the detox carried out under expert supervision eliminates the risk factors associated with withdrawal process.

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Is it possible to go through detox at home?

Since detoxification is a natural process carried out by body, it is pretty much possible to go through it at home. Detox process starts as soon as the drug is quit and continues as long as every trace of drug is not removed from the body. A home detox process can be successful but it is dangerous. Also it takes longer than a supervised one and success rates are lower. Experts can recommend medications to make withdrawal bearable. Home detox lacks these incentives.

Medications used to ease withdrawal process:

Withdrawal and detox process are extremely unpleasant experiences. However, going through them without using the drug is crucial for recovery. During detox, going back to the drug can be very dangerous since the tolerance for drug decreases. Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms become so painful that the patient cannot resist taking the drug. In a supervised detox program, professionals make sure these aspects are paid attention to. A number of medications are given to the patient to ease the symptoms of codeine withdrawal. Opioid Replacement Therapy is also carried out in some cases. It is made sure to help the body adapt to the absence of drug. Some of the commonly prescribed drugs during codeine withdrawal may include:

  • Methadone: Methadone has been known to be help for different drug withdrawals. This medication helps to alleviate cravings to keep the patient from going back to the drug.
  • Buprenorphine: It is commonly known by its brand name Subutex. This drug helps ease withdrawal symptoms and shorten the detox process.
  • Clonidine: This medication helps to manage physical as well as mental symptoms associated with detox.
  • Naltrexone: This drug helps preventing a relapse during detox.

Withdrawal timeline for codeine:

A certain withdrawal timeline cannot be set for codeine withdrawal. Time taken to get rid of withdrawal symptoms may vary from one person to the other. For some people, it only takes as short as seven days to get rid of withdrawal symptoms while the others can take much longer than this. How long or painful withdrawal can be depends upon a number of factors such as

  • Genetic disposition
  • Time period that drug was abused for
  • Level of addiction

However, it is possible to set a withdrawal timeline that may help people have an idea.

  • Days 1 to 4:
    Withdrawal symptoms start to appear as soon as the drug is quit and reach their peak value within first four days. A number of withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscular pain, insomnia, headache and restlessness are experienced by the patient. These symptoms tend to be most intense during the first few days.
  • Days 5 to 7:
    Withdrawal symptoms experienced during first few days of withdrawal start to ease down and some of them even disappear. However, psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety etc start to kick in. Excessive sweating and diarrhea may even result into dehydration that can be deadly if left unattended.
  • Days 8 to 30:
    For most of the users, all the withdrawal symptoms disappear by this time. However, psychological symptoms like depression may persist. It is important to seek treatment for such conditions since they might not go away without proper help. Depression and cravings may last for as long as several months after quitting codeine.

Is it possible to die from codeine withdrawal?

It is unlikely to die from codeine withdrawal but it is possible. The aggravated and unattended withdrawal symptoms may result into death. They may be physical as well as mental such as worsened dehydration and depression. If detox is completed at a supervised facility, chances of such mishaps decrease a great deal.

Relapsing during detox process can be extremely dangerous. Even taking small amounts of the drug can result into an overdose and death because of the decreased tolerance of the body. Even if a patient is going through detox at home, it is highly recommended to seek professional help through the process.


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