For many, the fear of the common withdrawal effects of codeine are enough to keep them addicted to the drug
Codeine is a prescription opiate painkiller that’s prescribed for moderate pain. Like all prescription opiates, codeine is highly addictive and potentially deadly. Once you’ve developed a dependence on it, the withdrawal effects of codeine can make it very difficult to stop using. For many, the fear of the common withdrawal effects of codeine are enough to keep them addicted to the drug. But help is available for codeine detox and addiction treatment, and Better Addiction Care can help you find it.
What is Dependence and Withdrawal?
Dependence is different from addiction. While addiction is characterized by the inability to stop using a drug even though it’s causing problems in your life, dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms that set in when you stop using.
When you use a drug, your brain compensates for its presence by changing the way it functions chemically. Over time, this leads to tolerance, which means that you need increasingly larger doses of a drug to get the desired effects. At some point, your brain function may change so that the brain now operates more “normally” when the drug is present than when it’s not. Then, when you stop using it, normal brain function rebounds and causes the onset of withdrawal.
The Common Withdrawal Effects of Codeine
The withdrawal effects of codeine and other opiates mimic the flu. Symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Intense cravings.
- Runny nose.
- Body aches.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
- Hot and cold sweats.
While the withdrawal effects of codeine aren’t particularly dangerous, they can be miserable, and most people who experience them go right back to using codeine just to make them stop. The codeine withdrawal timeline varies depending on a number of factors, but in general, it lasts from five to ten days.
Unfortunately, once detox is complete, intense cravings will still persist for some time. Addiction treatment will help you learn to cope with them.
Medical Detox for Codeine Dependence
Medical detox is a supervised detox process that’s supervised by medical and mental health professionals. During medical detox, medications are administered as needed to reduce the intensity of the withdrawal effects of codeine. Medical detox also shortens the codeine withdrawal timeline.
Medication-Assisted Therapy for Codeine Dependence
Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is different from medical detox. Instead of detoxing and going through codeine withdrawal, you take a synthetic opiate medication that has very few psychoactive effects. This drug prevents the onset of withdrawal and keeps cravings away.
While some people believe that MAT is just replacing one addiction with another, this is not true. Rather, it’s comparable to taking medication for another condition, like diabetes or heart disease. And in fact, research shows that MAT offers better long-term outcomes than medical detox.
Detox and Medication-Assisted Therapy Don’t Treat Addiction
Once medical detox is complete or you’ve begun medication-assisted therapy and normal brain function has resumed, treatment is needed to address the addiction. Codeine addiction treatment involves a variety of therapies that help you:
- Address the underlying issues that led to the addiction.
- Develop a toolkit of skills and strategies for coping with cravings and other triggers.
- Replace harmful thought and behavior patterns with healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
- Find purpose and meaning in life without codeine.
- Learn to relax and have fun without codeine.
Better Addiction Care can help you find codeine addiction treatment near you to help you end your addiction for good and restore your life on all fronts. Contact us today and let us help you reclaim your life.