Codeine is a narcotic pain medication. Since it contains opiates, it’s highly addictive. Beyond that, however, codeine can lead to immediate and long-term problems. Take a look at the worrying codeine side effects resulting from recreational use and addiction.
Most Common Codeine Side Effects
There are two main groups of people that use codeine. The first want to relieve pain, and the second want to experience euphoric effects. Both groups are likely to experience some of the most common side effects of codeine use.
Drowsiness is, by far, the most common side effect of codeine consumption. Lethargy can happen immediately after use and last for several hours. Sleeping more and feeling apathetic during waking hours both go hand in hand with this drowsiness. Additionally, dizziness and a shortness of breath are standard side effects.
Also common is the possibility of severe mood swings. In the hours following a dose of codeine, individuals may feel relaxed. After the effects wear off, however, they may feel like they’re in more pain than they were to begin with. This can cause depression, anxiety, and even paranoia to develop.
Long-Term Side Effects of Codeine Use
Prolonged use of codeine is common, especially among individuals who rely on it for pain relief. Unfortunately, long-term use of the drug can lead to several unpleasant codeine side effects.
Many people who use opiates long-term suffer from intestinal distress. Because of this, they often have to deal with nausea and vomiting. Moreover, codeine can lead to severe constipation, which is more than just uncomfortable. It can also cause bowel perforation in extreme cases.
The long-term use of codeine can impact blood circulation. Some users might notice a blue tinge to their fingers or their lips, even when not in extremely cold environments. A dry mouth, itching, urinary retention, and rashes are also possible with long-term codeine use.
Signs of a Codeine Overdose
Codeine, like any other opioid drug, can cause an overdose. This may happen because users aren’t following medical labels and taking an incorrect dose. It may also happen because when users develop an addiction, they also experience an increase in tolerance. This means that users require ever-larger doses of codeine in order to feel the same effects.
Severe chest pain and an increase in drowsiness or dizziness often accompany a codeine overdose. Additionally, the heart rate may also slow. This is one reason why a codeine overdose is so dangerous. The symptoms make it incredibly difficult to actively seek help. Unfortunately, far too many codeine overdoses result in lasting health problems and even death.
Signs of a Codeine Addiction
It’s not always easy to spot the signs of a codeine addiction. Some users are able to function, but eventually, the effects of the drug become visible. A big sign is chronic drowsiness and unusual sleep patterns.
In addition, those with codeine addictions may struggle financially. Prescription medications can be difficult and expensive to obtain. Many addicts also “doctor shop” at several medical clinics in order to get multiple prescriptions at once.
Recovering From Codeine Abuse or Addiction
To end codeine side effects once and for all, users have to cease consumption. After a period of detox, treatment and addiction counseling can begin. A quality treatment facility, like Pinnacle Peak Recovery, offers:
- Inpatient and outpatient programs
- Evidence-based treatment methods
- Sober living, transitional living and continuing care
- Dual diagnosis treatment as needed
- Appealing, comfortable location
If you or someone you know struggles with codeine addiction, addiction treatment is the best course of action. At Pinnacle Peak Recovery in Scottsdale, Arizona, you can complete a treatment program designed to help you achieve lasting sobriety. Begin recovery today by calling 866-954-0524.