Effects of Codeine Addiction on Your Life
Codeine addiction happens because codeine is an opiate in pure form and a semi-synthetic opioid when it is synthesized from morphine into narcotic pharmaceuticals. It is prescribed for relief of mild to moderate pain and is contained in prescription cough syrups, but, codeine has many medicinal purposes and it is the most commonly prescribed opioid around the world.
Like other opioids, codeine has the potential to produces euphoric effects and physical dependence which may later develop into addiction. It produces relaxation, drowsiness, sedation, and an overall sense of feeling good. After repeat doses, the user develops a tolerance and needs more of the drug to achieve the same desired effects. Once their drug seeking behaviors become compulsive, and despite negative consequences, they continue to use, they have become addicted.
As the codeine addict’s brain adapts to having the opiate in order to function and feel ok, their cognitive, behavioral, and physiological characteristics begin to change. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Scientists have also found that chronic drug abuse alters the brain’s anatomy and chemistry and that these changes can last for months or years after the individual has stopped using drugs.” Codeine and other opiate addicts are at high risk for relapse even after long periods of abstinence and this may be why they persist in seeking drugs.
Psychological Effects of Codeine Addiction on Your Life
Depression, anger, aggression, and mood swings can cause difficulties in the family, work, or other social environments and the addict may begin to avoid activities or people that they once enjoyed in order to “get high” or because they are ashamed of their addiction. Other mental health disorders can lead to maladaptive thoughts and unwanted behaviors that can cause harm to the addict or others. The person may get involved in criminal behaviors and become incarcerated. Any of these events can cause more psychological disturbances that can extend to their families and friends and can lead to greater mental health problems.
Physical Effects of Codeine Addiction on Your Life
Codeine addicts suffer symptoms of withdrawal when they suddenly stop or reduce their intake of codeine. When codeine addicts need more codeine, they may alternate with other opioid drugs to minimize their exposure to these withdrawal symptoms. The more chronic the addiction, the more severe these and other physical effects will become. Codeine addicts risk overdose, kidney and liver failures, and death. They may be disabled from any physical side effect that plagues opiate addicts including diseases such as HIV, or hepatitis and respiratory or cardiovascular problems. Physical impairments directly affect the addict’s abilities to work, their financial status, relationships, and other independent living issues.