Codeine Abuse & Addiction Signs, Effects & Symptoms

The therapy provided at Acadiana Addiction Treatment Center provides ways to learn wholesome recovery skills that may foster long-term sobriety from an addiction to codeine. In Acadiana, you can concentrate on recovery and benefit from the advice and support of others that wholeheartedly feel that codeine dependence can be defeated.

Codeine is a short-acting narcotic prescribed by doctors most often employed for treating pain relief. Codeine can be highly addictive and supplies the user with a general sense of calm and feelings of pleasure. When codeine is used it enters the mind and causes the release of endorphins that stimulate the reward centre of the mind, leaving the user feeling extreme feelings of health and pleasure. This type of pleasure may result in both physical and psychological dependence.

Some people use for legitimate medical purposes, but over time create an addiction issue. After prolonged use an individual develops a tolerance for this substance and has to take more and more of the drug so as to feel the consequences. Somebody who’s addicted to codeine can start to feel symptoms of withdrawal if they move even a brief time without using the material.

Other individuals become addicted to codeine and start to use it to handle different problems in their lives, such as psychological pain or stresses because of the euphoric feelings it causes. Many who become addicted to codeine will use it with other substances — polysubstance abuse — such as benzodiazepines or alcohol to boost the calming sense of health these substances cause. This may result in major health risks like respiratory depression and coma if consumed in high quantities. Other people can take codeine with stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamines so as to reduce the intensity of unwanted side effects of these stimulants. This mixture of uppers and downers may result in cardiovascular collapse and myocardial infarction.   Moreover, it can be particularly tough to conquer Codeine abuse without appropriate professional treatment.

As codeine is one of the less concentrated narcotics, those who develop an addiction to codeine may seek stronger prescriptions narcotics like OxyContin so that they experience much greater feelings of euphoria. If prescription narcotics aren’t available, a person may elect to use heroin (a morphine derivative and illegal narcotic) to attain an even stronger high.

Co-Occurring Diseases

Often people who have a substance abuse problem struggle with other mental health disorders. Some of these disorders may include:-

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depressive disorders
  • Conduct disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorders


Specific statistics on codeine aren’t well known, however opiate narcotic use is fast becoming an increasing problem in america. | It has been estimated that 33 million Americans use codeine and other opiate drugs for nonmedical purposes every year.


Addiction to codeine and other substances is supposed to be a mix of a variety of factors working together. These include:-

Genetic: People who have relatives — particularly a parent — that are addicted to substances are more likely to come up with an addiction problem later in life. One theory is that people who abuse codeine do this in order to compensate for a deficiency of the naturally-occurring neurotransmitter. Codeine may be utilised as a kind of self-medication so as to compensate for the deficiency.

Environmental: Another theory is that kids who grow up in an unstable home environment and might be subjected to drug abuse by watching their parents or older siblings use. Through modeling they understand that drug abuse is an acceptable method of coping with psychological problems and stressful life events.

Emotional:- Occasionally individuals who become addicted to substances such as codeine are self-medicating so as to take care of an untreated mental illness. Codeine is used in an effort to control unpleasant side effects of the underlying mental illness.

If you think that you’re in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the closest emergency room immediately.


Symptoms of codeine abuse will vary among users depending on the quantity used and the period of drug abuse. | Indicators of codeine abuse include:-

Disposition symptoms:

  • Euphoria
  • Calm
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Mood swings

Behavioral symptoms:-

  • Drowsiness
  • Increase in amount of time sleeping
  • Reduced appetite
  • Apathy
  • Increased hospital visits
  • No longer caring for loved ones
  • “Doctor shopping” or visiting numerous physicians to obtain more codeine prescriptions.|
  • Prescription forgery
  • Stealing prescriptions or opiates from family and friends
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Lying to cover-up amount used

Physical symptoms:-

  • Constipation
  • Blue tinge to lips and fingernails
  • Muscle twitches
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching
  • Rashes
  • Urinary retention
  • Hypotension
  • Seizure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Reduced libido
  • Seizures

Emotional symptoms:-

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of emotions


Though codeine is a prescription medication the abuse of codeine can cause substantial harm to an individual’s life.

Some of these effects could include:-

  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Major depression
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Financial problems
  • Legal issues
  • Domestic issues
  • Job loss
  • Heightened pain sensitivity
  • Uncontrollable muscle twitches
  • Muscle spasms, cramps, and pain
  • reduction of productivity at work or school
  • Impaired social relationships
  • Seizures
  • Incarceration
  • Respiratory depression
  • Bradycardia
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Coma

Effects of Withdrawal

Somebody who’s physically dependent upon codeine should not try to stop using without the supervision of a trained medical practitioner. The immediate cessation of codeine can cause numerous withdrawal effects. These effects may include:-

  • Craving for the medication
  • Runny nose
  • Intense sweating
  • Chills
  • Goosebumps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Spasms of the muscles
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Homicidal thoughts
  • Racing thoughts
  • Hallucinations