Top 5 Behavioral Signs Your Loved One is Addicted to Codeine
As harmless a drug as codeine seems to be, more than a few unsuspecting people have found themselves chasing their next “fix” within any given day. Likewise, a loved one who’s addicted to codeine will start to display certain key behavioral signs.
At the outset, these signs may be difficult to spot as users tend to try to hide drug-using behaviors from those around them. After a while, a loved one addicted to codeine starts to do things he or she wouldn’t normally do, acting out of character without even knowing they’re doing it.
Someone addicted to codeine experiences the drug’s effects in stages. According to Elmhurst College, increasing tolerance levels soon give way to withdrawal effects. These two mechanisms drive the addiction cycle.
With continued use, codeine alters a person’s brain chemical processes, which makes it even more difficult to manage or stop drug use. At this point, a loved one addicted to codeine lives for the drug’s effects, and will likely sacrifice important parts of his or her life in order to maintain a drug-using habit.
If you suspect a loved one is addicted to codeine, here are five behavioral signs to watch out for –
Codeine acts a central nervous system depressant, slowing down all bodily processes regulated by the central nervous system. With each use, codeine throws off the brain’s normal chemical balance.
In an effort to restore a normal chemical equilibrium, the brain automatically secretes high levels of excitatory chemicals to compensate for codeine’s slowing effects. In the process, a person will experience ongoing feelings of agitation as the brain works to restore chemical processes back to normal.
2. Psychological Dysfunction
With ongoing codeine use, brain chemical imbalances grow worse and eventually impair a person’s overall psychological stability. Someone addicted to codeine will start to have difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly.
Other more serious symptoms of psychological dysfunction include –
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Lack of energy
- Lack of impulse control
The longer a person continues to use codeine, the larger the doses needed to produce the desired effects. As a result, codeine’s overall depressant effects become more pronounced as larger doses are ingested.
After a while, a loved one may start to show signs of heavy sedation from ongoing use. Once dosage levels reach a certain point, the drug overwhelms the brain’s ability to regulate normal functions. People in this condition will likely experience brief lapses in consciousness, also known as “nodding off.”
4. Drug Cravings
People addicted to codeine have reached the point where they actually believe they need the drug to cope with daily life. At this point, codeine has altered the brain’s reward system, which regulates motivation and learning functions. Drug cravings result from codeine’s damaging effects on this essential brain system.
5. Lifestyle Changes
Changes to a loved one’s lifestyle or daily routines indicate a full-blown addiction is at work. For someone addicted to codeine, lifestyle changes may take the form of –
- Missed days at work
- A new social circle
- Isolative behaviors
- Neglecting family and friends
- Money problems
- Problems with the law
In essence, once a loved one starts exhibiting behavioral signs, drug-using behaviors will only get worse unless he or she gets needed treatment help.