Treatment for Codeine Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms
Treatment for codeine addiction withdrawal symptoms is similar to treating an opiate addiction as codeine falls into the opiate drug category. Opiate drugs are used primarily for pain relief and usually give the patient feelings of intense relaxation usually accompanied by drowsiness and mental confusion. Due to the pleasure and relief of pain that drugs like codeine can provide, many people become addicted to them and will rapidly increase their usage or flat out abuse them. Like any drug, once the drug is not available or attainable, withdrawal symptoms quickly set in.
Codeine withdrawal symptoms are similar to other opiate withdrawal symptoms. The National Institute of Health lists early withdrawal symptoms, including things like muscle aches, insomnia, sweating, agitation, and anxiety. If a patient is unable to get another dosage of codeine, they will experience other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, goose bumps, and abdominal cramping. The intensity and duration of the withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person due to the person’s individual health and the level of their addiction. Many patients find these withdrawal symptoms to be unbearable and will look for ways to avoid them completely or reduce their intensity.
Treatment for Withdrawal
For those experiencing very mild withdrawal symptoms, treatment is not always required as the symptoms can disappear within a few hours or even a day. Some patients will take Tylenol or other over the counter medication for the pain and then wait it out.
Unfortunately, many patients suffering from codeine addiction withdrawal symptoms can’t handle them without additional assistance. There are two ways of dealing with withdrawal including behavior treatment and pharmacological treatment, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Behavioral treatments include things like individual therapy, group therapy, family counseling, and cognitive therapies.
Most patients tend to need more than just counseling so they often have to combine therapy with medical treatment. Various medications include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone to name a few. Both methadone and buprenorphine help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and are generally used for those with long term addictions and intense withdrawal symptoms. These medications can be taken alone, without the additional therapy or counseling; however, patients are usually unable to break their addiction with medication alone.
Many times medication is also used during a detoxification treatment. This is usually done by administering medication and slowly reducing each dose until the medication is no longer needed. Detoxification helps in two ways: patients can avoid the intense pain of withdrawal symptoms and they can learn other ways of dealing with their addictive behaviors as they wean off the drug. Detoxification can be done either at home or at a medical facility. To determine which method would be the safest and most effective, it’s recommended that the patient seek medical advice from a doctor or medical professional who specialized in codeine addiction.
Breaking the Cycle
Many of those looking to treat codeine addiction withdrawal symptoms are usually lucky enough to be fighting a mild addiction. However, for those fighting a long term or intense addiction, avoiding withdrawal is of the upmost importance. By participating in a detoxification treatment or addiction program, codeine addicts are more likely to break their cycle of addiction and move forward into a drug free life.