Codeine addiction can occur in any individual who abuses this drug. It can be difficult to admit that someone you love is struggling with this deadly disease, but you can determine if it is true by looking for the signs of codeine addiction symptoms in your loved one.

Who Abuses Codeine?Codeine Addiction Symptoms - Cough Syrup bottle with a shot glass next to it full of red cough syrup.

Anyone can abuse and become addicted to codeine, but for the most part, younger individuals are the ones who are at risk for this dangerous syndrome.

  • According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), cough syrups like Robitussin A-C Syrup and Mytussin AC Cough Syrup contain the ingredient codeine, which is an opioid. These cough syrups are usually only obtained by prescription, but unfortunately, many families simply have them in their medicine cabinets, waiting for the day when someone will need them.
  • These cough syrups can cause a number of side effects if taken in large doses, allowing users to experience an intense high.
  • Young people often abuse these drugs because they are easier to obtain than street drugs and prescription drugs. They may mix them with soda or alcohol to hide the taste of the cough syrup.

This type of abuse seems harmless to many who participate in it, but the truth is that codeine abuse can quickly lead to addiction, especially in those who take the drug often.

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Codeine Abuse Signs

The signs and symptoms of addiction to codeine can be difficult to pinpoint if you don’t know what to look for. However, once you understand the way codeine affects the body, you can start to recognize the signs that someone you love is misusing this dangerous drug.

The acute signs and symptoms of codeine abuse are

  • Euphoria
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Drowsiness
  • Itchiness
  • Mood swings
  • Slowed breathing
  • No appetite
  • Vision problems

According to a 2016 study published in the medical journal Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease, opioids can also cause intense constipation, especially in those who take them consistently. This will also be an issue for those who misuse codeine, which is an opioid drug. Even those who take the cough syrup version of the drug will experience these symptoms. Many times, these individuals will attempt to ignore these symptoms in order to continue getting high.

However, once a person has been abusing codeine for more than a few weeks, they will start to become dependent on the drug, experience tolerance to its effects, and in most cases, become addicted to it. There are other signs associated with drug addiction, most of which are behavioral, that you can notice when your loved one abuses this drug.

The common signs and symptoms of codeine addiction include

  • A craving for codeine when unable to get it
  • A need to put the drug before all else, including responsibilities, loved ones, etc.
  • Frequent problems at school and work that can be linked to codeine abuse
  • Financial issues associated with the use of codeine, as the individual will spend money on the drug that was meant for other things like rent, food, etc.
  • Legal problems associated with the use of codeine, including getting a DUI/DWI, getting arrested, etc.
  • Putting oneself or others in danger in order to obtain more of the drug
  • Spending time with all new friends who use codeine
  • Spending more time alone in order to use
  • Acting secretive and refusing to tell others where he or she has been, what he or she was doing, etc. (National Library of Medicine)
  • Making excuses to use codeine when it isn’t necessary
  • Not taking care of one’s physical state, hygiene, clothes, etc.
  • Losing weight rapidly
  • Acting hostile when others bring up possible substance abuse
  • An inability to stop using codeine, even if the individual wants to do so

These are all signs of a serious substance use disorder, one that is associated with the misuse of codeine.

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Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Codeine cough syrup side effects can include a number of issues that can affect the way the body works, especially when a person abuses this drug in large amounts and often. However, those who become addicted to this drug will usually become dependent on it as well, which can lead to opioid withdrawal if the individual cannot obtain more of the drug.

The signs and symptoms of codeine withdrawal, as stated by the NLM, include

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Muscle pain
  • Crying/tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Abdominal cramps

Most people describe codeine withdrawal as feeling similar to the flu, but individuals going through this syndrome also experience intense pain, usually in their muscles and joints. This pain can sometimes be so severe that individuals return to using codeine just to put an end to it. For this reason, treatment is always necessary for individuals struggling with codeine addiction.

Get Help for Your Codeine Abuse or Addiction Today

Whether you are already addicted to codeine or not, you should seek help if you have been regularly abusing this drug. If your friend or family member has been misusing codeine, it is time to seek treatment as well.

24 Hour Codeine Addiction Treatment Hotline – Get Help Now

Call 877-959-7271 today to speak with someone 24/7. We can help you verify your insurance to determine if a specific treatment center will accept it and answer any questions you may have about codeine abuse, addiction, and recovery. Call now.