Codeine is an addictive opiate painkiller drug. It is one of the most heavily prescribed drugs in the United States and it is available over-the-counter in the UK.
It is usually prescribed for the treatment of moderate pain and cough suppression. Codeine is converted into morphine once ingested and is proven to be highly addictive: even extended use of low doses can build up tolerance until patients become physically dependent.
Medicines that contain codeine are very widespread. Codeine is often combined with other medications and substances and then marketed under various brand names. Some examples include: Ambophen, Bromotuss, Robitussin AC, Phenylephrine, Pyrilamine, Guaifenesin, Chlorpheniramine, Tylenol 3. In the UK you can buy Paramol (dihydrocodeine), co-codamol, Nurofen Plus, Solpadeine Plus, Codis, Migraleve, Syndol over the counter, but in regulated doses.
What is Codeine prescribed for?
Codeine-based medicines are commonly prescribed as antitussives or narcotic analgesics for a number of upper-respiratory conditions or mild symptoms such as: cough and nasal congestion, headaches, cold and sinus symptoms, allergies, allergic rhinitis, muscle spasms, pain, diarrhoea, osteoarthritis.
Codeine addiction usually starts with a prescription for codeine-based cough syrup or codeine tablets for pain such as migraines or back pain. Developing tolerance and ultimately abuse is relatively easy as it is less regulated and less potent than other opiates. Codeine can also become the gateway drug into other opiate substances like morphine.
Codeine Rehab Treatment
Codeine withdrawal symptoms depend on each individual’s history of use, frequency and duration and will influence their detox programme. Some typical codeine withdrawal symptoms include: sleeplessness, headaches, fever, cravings, depression, muscle aches, sweating, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.
At Castle Craig our goal is to ensure the safety of each patient and ease their physical and psychological discomfort during the codeine detoxification process. The codeine detox programme begins with a thorough pre-assessment by our Consultant Psychiatrist to determine the patient’s personalised needs.
The preferred method of detox involves tapering off codeine by gradually decreasing the daily codeine intake. This is the most comfortable method as the user’s system adapts slowly and withdrawal is much less severe.
Each patient is different, so the detox process is based on each patient’s continual assessment until complete abstinence is achieved. Other medication may be used to help ease the codeine withdrawal symptoms if this is approved by our Consultant.
Irrespective of the prescribed detox option, at Castle Craig Rehab codeine detox, involves ongoing medical supervision. We provide 24/7 medically monitored detox. Our residential nursing staff monitor each patient regularly, so those withdrawal symptoms are carefully managed.
Rehab Treatment for Codeine Addiction
An inpatient, residential rehab programme is the recommended type of treatment for lasting recovery from codeine addiction.
At Castle Craig Rehab we offer an integrated codeine addiction treatment programme, which includes medical care and detox supervision, followed by a personalised psychotherapy treatment plan for each patient.
In order to allow codeine addiction patients to focus on their recovery without the distractions and temptations of the outside world, we have devised an intensive therapy programme of individual and group therapy, complementary therapies, educational lectures, regular meals and exercise and relapse prevention and 12-step support groups.
Long-term rehab for codeine abuse gives the user the opportunity to address the root causes of their codeine dependency, identify relapse triggers and achieve successful reintegration into a drug-free, healthy lifestyle.
Get Help for Codeine and Painkiller Addiction
If you or someone you know is abusing codeine or any other codeine-based medication, contact us to get help. Castle Craig Hospital has over 30 years experience in treating painkiller addiction, including codeine addiction.
Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | September 10, 2021