The opioid epidemic spreading across the United States and especially Ohio is a persistent issue for doctors and patients alike. In 2021 alone, more than 5.5 million opioid prescriptions were administered to Ohioans. 

Codeine is one of the many drugs that are a part of the opioid epidemic. Addiction to opioids like codeine is difficult to treat because, as controlled substances, these drugs are extremely addictive. Further, withdrawal from these substances can be a challenging obstacle. Fortunately, medically supervised detox can help ease withdrawal and increase your chances of long-term recovery from a codeine use disorder.

Codeine Withdrawal

When you take an opioid like codeine regularly, your body expects its presence and relies on the drug to function normally. This phenomenon is called physical dependence.

If you are physically dependent on a substance and either suddenly stop taking it or significantly reduce your dose, your body must become acclimated to the lack of the substance. As your system recalibrates, unpleasant physical and psychological side effects, or withdrawal symptoms, typically occur. 

Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on several things, including the length of time the person has been taking codeine and the size of their doses. Common codeine withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Achiness
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Chills
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Runny nose

Codeine withdrawal symptoms may also include insomnia and depression. For heavy codeine abusers, these symptoms can last for several weeks or months.

Codeine Withdrawal Timeline

Although codeine withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, codeine withdrawal itself follows a predictable timeline:

  • Within 12 hours of the last dose, withdrawal symptoms begin.
  • Within 24–48 hours of the last dose, withdrawal symptoms peak and are at their highest intensity.
  • Within 3–5 days of the last dose, withdrawal symptoms slowly subside.
  • Although many withdrawal symptoms will have resolved within weeks to months of the last dose, other symptoms like insomnia, depression and anxiety may linger.

Codeine Detox

Opioids like codeine can dramatically change your brain chemistry and the way your central nervous system works. While detoxing from codeine can be challenging, one of the best things you can do is attend an inpatient codeine detox program.

An inpatient facility for codeine detox provides medical supervision throughout the entire process. Trying to detox on your own is not only uncomfortable, but you will also be in greater danger of relapsing if you attempt to quit cold-turkey by yourself.

While many detox centers are available, it’s best to attend a detox program at a treatment facility that coordinates with rehab. Although detox cleanses your system of opioids like codeine, it takes at least 90 days in rehab to increase your chances of staying off codeine long-term.

Codeine Detox Treatment in Ohio

At The Recovery Village Columbus, safe and effective codeine detox is available, as well as inpatient, outpatient and aftercare programs. We specialize in helping people detox safely from codeine and other opioids, increasing the chances of success in a long-term recovery journey.

If you or a loved one struggles with codeine, don’t wait: contact our caring intake experts today to learn how we can help.

Editor – Erica Weiman
Erica Weiman graduated from Pace University in 2014 with a master's in Publishing and has been writing and editing ever since. Read more
Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

National Library of Medicine. “Opiate and opioid withdrawal.” MedlinePlus, May 10, 2020. Accessed January 30, 2022.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). “Controlled Substances.” November 18, 2021. Accessed January 30, 2022.

Ohio Automated RX Reporting System. “PDMP Interactive Data Tool.” Accessed January 30, 2022.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: […]uide (Third Edition).” January 2018. Accessed January 30, 2022.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “Protracted Withdrawal.” Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory: News for the Treatment Field, July 2010. Accessed January 30, 2022.

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “National Practice Guideline for the Trea[…] 2020 Focused Update.” December 18, 2019. Accessed January 30, 2022.

Medical Disclaimer

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.