Codeine Abuse & Addiction in Ohio
Codeine is an opioid drug, which means that it can potentially be addictive as with all other opiates. It is used as a cough suppressant, and it is also used to treat pain. It is available only by prescription. There are many prescription medications that include codeine like:
- Tylenol with Codeine #3
- Maxiflu CD
- Phenflu CD
- Florinal with Codeine
- Colrex Compound
- Fioricet with Codeine
These are just some of the prescription drugs that include codeine. There are a number of other medications.
Codeine belongs to a class of drugs that are referred to as narcotic analgesics. This means they treat pain by acting on the central nervous system, and it is used to treat pain that ranges from mild to moderate. Because it is considered to be weaker than other opiates, many people have the misconception that they cannot become addicted to codeine. This is not the case.
Is Codeine Addictive?
If you live in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati or any other city in Ohio and you have been prescribed codeine, you may be wondering whether or not the substance is addictive. Unfortunately, codeine does have the potential for abuse, misuse and addiction. This misuse can even result in overdose, which can lead to death. Just with any other opiate, taking codeine can depress your respiratory system so much that you can enter into a coma. It can even be deadly. If codeine is taken while pregnant, it can also result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.
In order to avoid cocaine abuse, misuse and addiction, codeine should only ever be taken as directed by your physician. This can include only taking the amount you are prescribed and only taking it as frequently as prescribed. It should never be taken without a prescription as that is considered abuse and can lead to addiction.
The side effects of codeine misuse are not as pronounced as the side effects of the abuse of other opioids. However, codeine abuse can still include apathetic behavior, drowsiness, impaired judgment, dilated pupils as well as coordination problems.
Why is Codeine Addictive?
Codeine is an opioid as we discussed above. While it does not have as much potential for abuse as other, stronger opioids, it can still be abused. Sometimes it can even be more problematic because people don’t treat it with as much care, thinking it is harmless. This is not the case, however. Like other opiates, codeine impacts the central nervous system, which is how it can attack pain.
Taking a drug like codeine that does affect the central nervous system floods the brain with dopamine at higher levels than are naturally produced. Because of this, your brain develops cravings for the substance as it seeks to trigger that response. This is why codeine can be addictive. Once this response has been triggered in the brain, it’s easy to develop a tolerance to and a dependence on the substance.
One of the dangers of codeine is that people often move on from this drug to stronger opioids once they have developed a tolerance and an addiction. Codeine can be seen as a gateway opioid to drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone or even heroin.
Codeine Addiction Facts
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that prescription drugs that are often prescribed to suppress a cough are often misused when the patient will take a much higher dose than has been prescribed. If these drugs contain antihistamines or expectorants, they are misused at rates that are even higher. Additional facts about codeine addiction are as follows:
- When a person takes codeine, it is then converted into morphine. This is why euphoric and mind-altering effects are felt. Generally speaking, about 10 percent of codeine becomes morphine.
- Codeine depresses breathing and other bodily functions that are essential.
- After just two weeks of regular use, an addiction may develop.
- When a person consumes codeine, the effects of the medication begin after 10 to 30 minutes.
If you think you and/or someone you love may have a problem with codeine addiction, it is important that you seek treatment at a treatment facility. The Recovery Village Columbus is an excellent option that provides inpatient and outpatient treatment programs that will help you begin your recovery journey.