Ready for Recovery?

A better future is within reach. Call now to get help.

Codeine Addiction

Codeine is an opioid drug available by prescription. While it’s not as potent as opioids like Vicodin or OxyContin, it has contributed to the current opioid crisis we are facing as a nation. Unfortunately, in some cases, using opioids as prescribed can lead to the use of stronger, illicit drugs. Although addiction is treatable, you must learn the signs and symptoms to avoid adverse consequences that result from the disease. Read on to learn more about Codeine addiction.

What Are the Signs of Codeine Addiction?

Codeine is not viewed as a drug that can lead to severe consequences, but using the medicine can lead to the use of illicit drugs, which may cause infectious disease, legal issues, and much more. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that three out of four heroin users tried prescription opioids prior to using heroin. Once someone develops an addiction, it is characterized as a severe substance use disorder, and it follows many clear signs.

The Mayo Clinic mentions distinct signs of a growing drug addiction, which include:

If you catch the problem early, it can help you to avoid some of the most severe consequences of addiction. It’s crucial to mention that even the worst addiction can be treated.

The first sign of a substance use disorder is tolerance to codeine.

If you’ve been using the drug for some time, and the usual dose becomes weaker than before, you are likely adjusting to codeine.

As you adapt to the substance, you will start to rely on it, which will lead to chemical dependency.

This is characterized by withdrawal symptoms or cravings if you miss a dose.

Looking into an orange prescription bottle with white pills spilling out of it


A substance use disorder turns into an addiction when compulsive spirals out of control. If you are addicted to codeine and continue using despite consequences, it can lead to legal troubles or job loss.

Codeine Withdrawal

Codeine is a commonly prescribed opioid medication around the world, and it is used in various medicines to relieve pain or coughing. Unfortunately, despite it being much weaker than opiates such as OxyContin or Vicodin, it comes with the risk of serious side effects. You may experience chemical dependency, addiction, or withdrawal, to name a few. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), those who abuse prescription opioids may end up experimenting with heroin. Due to the substantial costs of prescription opioids on the street, it may cause a user to seek cheaper alternatives like heroin.

Those who abruptly stop their use of codeine may experience a wide range of withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, some instances of codeine withdrawal are severe, while others may not experience such adverse effects. Let’s take a look at some codeine withdrawal symptoms. 

What Are the Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms?

Codeine withdrawal is rarely life-threatening, but in some cases, individuals could experience dehydration, which could be fatal. You are more likely to deal with the discomfort that is challenging to go through alone. The most common withdrawal symptoms are an intense or compulsive desire to use codeine because it will stop your symptoms. 

When you combine extreme discomfort with a strong desire to use, you are likely to relapse if you are not in a supportive environment. Unfortunately, this can be deadly if you end up using a high dose of codeine when your tolerance has decreased. 

The most common symptoms of codeine withdrawal include:

What Are the Stages of the Codeine Withdrawal Timeline?

Several factors will determine the length and severity of your codeine withdrawal experience. No one will deal with the same symptoms due to our unique brain chemistry, but some factors can give us a better idea of how severe your symptoms may be. 

Some indicators include:

These factors make it challenging for experts to provide an accurate timeline, but a generalized timeline might follow this pattern:

Why Should I Detox?

Although codeine is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, it is not the same as alcohol or benzodiazepines during withdrawal. Unfortunately, due to the severity of the physical symptoms.

It will be challenging to overcome alone.

Medical detox will allow you to be treated by board-approved professionals that have experience in this field.

Medications will alleviate your symptoms, and you could spend five to ten days in the detox facility. 

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

While detox is crucial in overcoming a codeine addiction, you need to complete the continuum of care to safeguard your newly founded sobriety. You will be exposed to behavioral therapies that will help you understand your disease and provide you with tools to cope with triggers. If you are ready for a new path, it’s vital to discover your options. 

What Is Involved in Codeine Addiction Treatment

Every day more than 130 people die of opioid overdoses in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these people do not receive the treatment necessary to overcome their addiction. If you’ve developed an addiction to codeine, the only way to overcome it is through treatment. 

The first step is to check into medical detox, where a group of medical professionals will oversee your status as you rid the toxins from your system. Once you are stable, they will place you into the next level of care, which can be a residential or outpatient treatment center. Only a professional can determine what is the next step for you