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Recovering from Codeine Addiction: Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment

By Edited Mar 10, 2016 0 0

How to Overcome Opiate Dependency

Codeine is one of the most used, but dangerous drugs in the medical establishment. Serious addiction is uncommon, but when it happens, recovering from codeine addiction is an unforgettable ordeal. Fortunately, overcoming this brutal trap is possible, but only with a thorough understanding of withdrawal symptoms and treatment options.

Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

Codeine is derived from the opiate family. Today, although physicians try their best to prescribe it in controlled doses, addiction can still occur. This is usually accidental and rarely intentional. Many people suffer for years with severe, debilitating codeine dependency. Those brave enough to break their pharmaceutical bonds must undergo an agonizing transformation filled with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Taking away codeine from a bodily system accustomed to it produces many effects that look like common illnesses. Cold or flu like symptoms such as sweating, runny nose, headaches, and random aches and pains are normal. These grim aftershocks are likely to be worse the longer a person has been addicted, or if their body is used to greater dosages of codeine pouring in. Psychologically, codeine addicts who abandon their doses experience unsettling behavioral changes like anxiety and insomnia.

Vomiting, heart palpitations, and intense muscular pain are more serious withdrawal symptoms. These should always be evaluated and treated by a physician or professional trained in drug detoxification. Dehydration and heart irregularities may do long term damage, and they rarely turn fatal. In a medical setting, many patients receive heart monitoring, fluid replacement, and occasionally prescription drugs to help mitigate these shattering withdrawal symptoms.

Treating Codeine Addiction

Depending upon the seriousness of a person's addiction, it may be necessary to visit a rehabilitation center for several days. These institutions are staffed by professionals trained in detoxifying the mind and body, and promoting good habits to lessen the likelihood of relapses. The average rehab center also helps patients feel more comfortable while they are experiencing withdrawal.

As Marc Alan Schuckit says in Educating Yourself About Alcohol and Drugs: A People's Primer, it's not wise to stop codeine “cold turkey,” except in the worst cases. Recovering from codeine addiction requires incrementally reducing your dosage. If an addiction is caught early on, then doctors will usually lessen the prescription of codeine containing drugs, until you're down to nothing. Although some minor withdrawal symptoms are still possible, they will be far less excruciating and difficult to manage than combating a full blown addiction.

Finally, prevention is the best cure for addictive codeine drugs. Beware any pain killer prescribed after surgery, or drugs designed to treat inflammatory diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, since these are often where codeine turns up. Take the smallest dose needed to relieve your symptoms.

If pills are prescribed for temporary pain relief, take them only as long as you need to. Many patients are given a little more medicine than they actually need in prescriptions. Tactics like these help promote a better recovery, and also reduce the risk of an unexpected and nasty dependency arising.

By tackling withdrawal symptoms as soon as they rear their ugly heads, and seeking out treatment, you boost the chances of overcoming this drug's vicious hold. Recovering from codeine addiction isn't easy, but knowing what to expect gives you a slight edge in mentally preparing yourself to effectively shrug off an addiction.

The Opium Plant


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