Codeine Withdrawal

Most people believe that codeine is a benign substance that helps you sleep a little better if you have a bad cough. Doctors prescribe cough syrups with the additive all the time. But those who end up with a codeine addiction eventually suffer from codeine withdrawal. Here’s what you need to know if this describes you or a loved one.

What Codeine Withdrawal and Addiction Feels Like

A few hours after taking the last dose, you begin to experience headaches. The pain gradually travels to your muscles, and you start to feel like you’re in the middle of a bad flu. Sweating, gastrointestinal upset, and fever make you feel miserable. Because you’re also dealing with diarrhea in addition to dehydration, you’re in danger of experiencing kidney failure.

man with sad blue eyes goes through Codeine withdrawal
What you didn’t expect were the intense cravings that come with codeine withdrawal. Few people realize that the substance is in the same family of medications as opioid painkillers such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. As a result, they likely don’t consider the addiction potential. However, just like other opiates, codeine also rewrites brain chemistry.

It makes the release of certain neurotransmitters dependent on the presence of the substance. Failure to provide it on a regular basis often results in feelings of depression. These, in turn, can last for a while until the body regains equilibrium. In addition, there’s the danger of rekindling the addiction the next time you reach for a medication with codeine.

Drug Rehab is the Solution for Dealing with an Addiction to Codeine

After undergoing codeine withdrawal and breaking the physical dependence on the substance, it’s time to end the psychological addiction. Because everyone’s reason for using is different, it’s vital to undergo drug addiction rehab that a therapist customizes for you. Remember that codeine is an opiate with strong cravings that can lure you back to getting high. Only by getting to the root of your reasons for getting high in the first place can you beat addiction.

If you don’t do anything, you may find that the compulsion to experience the drug again will be too much to handle. Before long, you’ll forget the discomfort of withdrawal and start using again. Because codeine carries the same risks as other opiates, you put your life in danger every time you use. When you do decide to undergo rehab, there are several evidence-based treatment options:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy invites you to examine negative patterns in your thinking and acting out
  • Dialectical behavior therapy helps with disarming triggers and stressors before they can cause drug-seeking behavior
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a practice that benefits trauma victims, particularly those dealing with PTSD
  • Gender-specific group therapy opens up avenues of communication, learning, and strategy building for relapse prevention
  • Experiential therapies allow for non-verbal communication, which helps program participants who don’t do well in formal counseling settings

Help and Inpatient Rehab vs. Other Treatment Options

Typically, people seeking out treatment for codeine or another opiate addiction choose an inpatient rehab stay. The advantage of this decision rests in the constant access to therapists and peer assistance as needed. For individuals with an extended drug use history, or those who’ve previously relapsed, this stay is the best option. The same goes for participants with a home environment that’s either unsafe or not supportive of rehab.

In other cases, a partial hospitalization can work well. It allows you to go home at night after spending a day at the rehab facility. For people with a milder case of addiction, an intensive outpatient program can be the right answer. Find out which approach may be right for you by calling Pinnacle Peak Recovery at 480-787-2409.

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