Codeine is an opiate pain reliever that is used for mild to moderate pain. It may be most frequently seen in cough suppressing formulas that are available by prescription only. Robitussin AC, Poly-Tussin AC, Dimetane DC, Nasotuss, Notuss-NX and many other formulas have codeine.
It is also available by itself in pill form or mixed with acetaminophen or acetaminophen and a barbiturate. This last is known as Fioricet with codeine. Tylenol #1, #2 and #3 all contain codeine. It may also be mixed with other mild pain relievers.
Codeine may be given after injury to reduce pain or when there is a serious problem with a cough. It suppresses coughing and pain but also suppresses the ability of the body to breathe, which can lead to death in cases of overdose.
Texas and Cough Preparations of Codeine
Texas has a particular problem with codeine abuse. Just a few miles across the US-Mexico border, it is easy to acquire codeine medications over the counter. This means that any young people who want to abuse this drug can just drive across the border and get plenty. Houston seems to be the local center for drug abuse of codeine, and music groups in that area glorify the use of the drug in their songs.
Cough medications with either codeine or dextromethorphan make popular drinks when mixed with soda drinks like Sprite or Mountain Dew. Several years ago, a bottle of cough medication on the streets of Houston could garner as much as $200 on the illicit market.
Codeine is an Opiate Similar to Heroin or OxyContin
As such, it is addictive like heroin or oxycontin. In the past, codeine may have been given out as a treatment for diarrhea but this is not done very often now. All opiates tend to be constipating, but the other side effects often outweigh the anti-diarrheal benefit that might be received from this drug.
Side effects of Codeine:
- Slowed heart rate, slowed or shallow breathing
- Feeling faint
- Anxiety or agitation
- Urine retention, problems urinating
- Emotional instability
These side effects, while uncomfortable, are not where the person who becomes addicted to codeine really plays the price. The price is really paid when a person wants to get off this mild-to-moderate painkiller.
Then the person addicted to codeine may experience the following:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Chills and fevers
- Involuntary body movements
- Flu-like symptoms
- “Dysphoria”—just feeling lousy
- Cravings that can last long after the other symptoms
It is very common for a person who is addicted to drugs to suffer a deterioration to their life situation, their morals, their honesty. Many addicts feel they must manipulate those around them so they can continue to acquire and use drugs. This could happen to a person who has been abusing codeine, but what is more likely is that a codeine abuser may add one or more other drugs to the mix or they may try migrating on to a stronger opiate drug. So while codeine itself may or may not create major destruction, a codeine habit may indirectly destroy one’s life.
For a person to recover from codeine addiction—either with or without other drugs—he (or she) will need to directly address the damages that addiction has caused. If a treatment program attempts to cover up this damage with other drugs (such as methadone or a benzodiazepine like Xanax or Valium), then failure is much more likely.
How to Repair Addiction Damage
The effect of heavy drug use on different people can have remarkably different outcomes. One person may be able to quit when he wants to but others may suffer serious harm to their lives, their personal integrity, their emotional stability and more. These people will need a thorough drug rehabilitation program in order to find lasting sobriety. This is why the 28-day program that is so widespread will fail many people. It does not have the scope or length to enable a person to really recover. They may leave the rehab with cravings still making them desperate and many unresolved life situations.
The Narconon drug rehab program directly addresses these points of damage. Each person is thoroughly trained in improved communication skills. When a recovering addict has a better grasp of how to face life and communicate with others instead of hiding behind substance abuse, he has a better shot at lasting recovery.
He will also go through a deep detoxification phase called the Narconon New Life Detoxification. This phase of recovery enables each person to flush out the drug residues that remain locked in the fatty tissues. These residues have proven to contribute to cravings and depression, as when this step is completed, many people talk about how much better their outlook is and how much lower their cravings are. Many people say their cravings are gone.
Learn more about this program that can make all the difference in the life of someone you care about.