Recognizing Codeine Abuse

codeine abuse

The dangers of codeine abuse are often underestimated. This substance is easily accessible and often used in combination with other drugs. Northpoint Washington believes in providing individualized care and treatment tailored to each person’s needs.

Call us at 888.450.2153 to learn more about our codeine addiction treatment program and how we can help you or a loved one get on the road to recovery.

What Is Codeine?

Codeine is a prescription pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain. Codeine is an opioid medication that works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. This interaction blocks pain signals from being sent to the brain. Codeine also has a calming effect and can cause drowsiness.

When used for pain, codeine is usually taken orally as a pill, tablet, or syrup. Codeine is a Schedule II controlled substance with a high potential for tolerance, dependence, and addiction.

Often called “purple drank,” “sizzurp,” or “lean,” codeine cough syrup is mixed with soda and sometimes alcohol. Codeine abuse often begins with taking cough syrup to get high and then increases when it’s taken with other drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you love is abusing codeine, contact Northpoint Washington at 888.450.2153. We can help you get on the path to recovery today.

How Does Codeine Abuse Lead to Addiction?

Codeine abuse can lead to addiction because it changes the brain and body function. Codeine binds to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which blocks pain signals from being sent to the brain. This interaction also causes a release of dopamine, a brain chemical that makes people feel happy and relaxed.

The brain begins to crave codeine because of the dopamine release. The more codeine taken, the more the brain craves the drug. There are some signs and symptoms that may be indicative of codeine abuse. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • Taking more codeine than prescribed or taking it without a prescription
  • Taking codeine more often than prescribed
  • Crushing and snorting codeine pills or injecting codeine syrup
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving while under the influence of codeine
  • Withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, and shaking

If you or someone you know displays these signs and symptoms of codeine abuse, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. Codeine addiction is a serious condition that requires treatment.

Dangers of Cough Syrup

Because of the easy access to the drug and the fact that it’s legal when prescribed by a doctor, many people mistakenly believe that cough syrup is safe. However, the dangers of cough syrup are such that it can be fatal when abused.

Cough syrup abuse can lead to several health problems, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired judgment
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Coma

There is a myth surrounding purple drank – that it’s harmless because it contains codeine, a legal drug. However, many people don’t realize that codeine is an opioid, which means it has a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Treatment for Codeine Addiction at Northpoint Washington

There are many treatment options available for codeine addiction in Northpoint Washington. Treatment typically begins with detox, which allows the body to rid itself of the drug. This can be done through our medical detox program, which is often the safest and most comfortable option.

After detox, treatment typically includes therapy, counseling, and support groups. These treatment modalities help people identify their addiction’s underlying causes and develop coping and problem-solving skills.

If you or someone you know is struggling with codeine abuse, please seek help as soon as possible. Call us at 888.450.2153 and start a life free from addiction.