Top 5 Reasons to Get Help for Codeine Addiction
Codeine addiction can lead to many harmful consequences, including those which can affect the addicted individual as well as their loved ones. According to the NIDA, 4.1% of 12th graders admitted to past-year use of prescription cough syrup, which contains codeine. Many of these individuals do not realize how dangerous it is to abuse this substance, nor how quickly addiction can develop. Codeine is also abused in its other forms as a tablet, capsule, and liquid and in combination with acetaminophen and other medications.
While those who abuse codeine often do not worry about addiction, those who become addicted may try to quit on their own, and some do not attempt to quit at all. This is incredibly dangerous, as there are many ways in which codeine addiction can harm you. Below are the top 5 reasons to get help for codeine addiction.
Codeine Addiction Can Kill You.
Codeine, like other opioid drugs, can cause severe respiratory depression to the point where an individual is unable to breathe at all. This often occurs during overdose, and because the drug also causes drowsiness and even coma when taken in extremely high doses, overdosing individuals often suffocate. Overdose of this type is possible with the abuse of both oral codeine tablets and codeine cough syrup. In fact, according to the NIDA, “Codeine-promethazine cough syrup has been linked to the overdose deaths of some prominent musicians.”
Being addicted to codeine raises your chances of overdosing on the drug. Those who become addicted often experience tolerance to the drug’s effects; this will cause them to need more of the drug each time in order to experience the same level of euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief that they have begun to crave. These individuals then abuse higher doses of the drug until, in many cases, they overdose on it.
Codeine Addiction Can Ruin Your Relationships.
Most individuals who become addicted to a substance, whether it is illegal or prescription-based, will at some point face problems in their closest relationships. Usually, family members and friends will become concerned with the individual’s drug use and attempt to intervene. Because addiction causes someone to abuse the drug of their choice at all costs, the addict will often lash out at their loved ones, refusing to give up the drug. Over time, this can cause a rift between the addict and those who matter most in their life.
Often, this issue results in addicts breaking up with significant others, having a falling out with friends or family members, and otherwise losing those who are most important to them as well as those who truly care about their well-being. Many people cannot watch their loved ones abuse drugs and will leave, especially when they’ve tried to help several times with no success.
In addition, the addicts themselves will start to push their loved ones away, spending time only with those who also abuse drugs and neglecting anyone in their lives who doesn’t. This can lead to the addict feeling isolated and, in some cases, these broken relationships can’t be repaired, even after treatment.
Codeine Addiction Causes Health Problems.
In addition to the potential of deadly overdose, abusing codeine over time can cause many health problems for an individual. According to the NLM, codeine when taken by prescription may cause many side effects (which will become even more severe when a person abuses the drug) including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems with urination
In addition, both users and abusers of codeine complain of constipation (often more than any other side effect). Though this can cause many long-term issues, codeine addicts will often refuse to stop abusing the drug, even though they may experience intense stomach pain as a result. Seizures can even result in certain cases of codeine use, the possibility of this condition growing higher when the individual abuses the drug.
Apathy and depression are two mental health problems that can be caused by long-term codeine abuse. Many individuals show signs of depression, and the condition itself can actually develop from codeine addiction in some cases. Long-time abusers also start to feel that everything else in their lives that used to matter to them (friends, family, hobbies, school, work) is no longer interesting or important. Codeine abuse doesn’t just cause mood disturbances but is also likely to be caused by them as well.
Codeine Addiction Can Often Occur Along with Other Mental Disorders.
Some codeine addicts only struggle with one mental disorder, but others have co-occurring issues that will make it much harder for them to quit. Depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other mental disorders are common among those individuals who abuse prescription opioids. According to the NIDA, “The high prevalence of this comorbidity has been documented in multiple national population surveys since the 1980s. Data show that persons diagnosed with mood or anxiety disorders are about twice as likely to suffer also from a drug use disorder.”
Many codeine addicts do not realize that they may suffer from a mental disorder that is helping to fuel their addiction. Furthermore, those who abuse codeine are also more likely to drink alcohol while they take the pills or to mix codeine cough syrup with alcohol. While this increases the effects of both substances, it puts the person more in danger of overdose and of becoming dependent on alcohol as well.
Codeine Addiction Cannot Be Beaten Alone.
While many users try, it is extremely difficult to beat an addiction with sheer force of will. Even if you are able to stay sober through the difficult codeine withdrawal stage until the symptoms subside, it is likely that you will relapse if you do not receive proper addiction treatment. This is why asking for help is so important. There are many types of treatment and help for codeine addiction including:
- Inpatient addiction treatment
- Outpatient addiction treatment
- Support groups
- Individualized drug counseling
- Group counseling
- Going to your doctor
- Reaching out to a friend
You may believe that you can fight your codeine addiction alone, but why should you? This condition can be extremely severe and even dangerous, depending on the amount of codeine you abuse, and there are many options for treatment. Seek help today in order to end your addiction to codeine.