Logo Drug Treatment Center Finder

GET 24/7 HELP NOW
FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL

855-619-8070

Sorry an error occurred!

×
Confirmation!

×
loading

Codeine is an opiate medication prescribed to treat short-term cases of mild-to-moderately severe pain and to relieve cough. The federal government classifies codeine as a Schedule II narcotic, same class of drugs that includes heroin, OxyContin, and other opioid pain relievers. Like those drugs, codeine has a high potential for abuse. Users can take codeine as a pill (often combined with acetaminophen) or as a cough syrup.

Codeine withdrawal occurs when long-term users suddenly stop taking the drug. The withdrawal process happens because the body is attempting to function without the drug in its system. Withdrawal can be uncomfortable, and symptoms can affect a person’s mind, body, and emotional state.

Codeine Abuse, Addiction, and Withdrawal

Some may not consider codeine as dangerous as oxycodone or hydrocodone, but users are advised to use caution when taking this drug. Even people who use codeine for legitimate purposes under a healthcare provider’s supervision are at the risk of developing a high tolerance for it. Codeine’s mind-altering effects at higher doses makes it easy to abuse.

Recreational users seek out codeine for its euphoric and calming effects. It can affect the user anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour after it is taken and last about four to six hours, depending on the size of the dose.

CODEINE WITHDRAWAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Heroin Signs

Long-term use and abuse of codeine alters a person’s brain and body chemistry. When use is stopped, withdrawal sets in as the body adjusts to functioning without the codeine in its system. If you or a loved one has recently stopped taking codeine after using it regularly or long-term, then you may be in withdrawal or will start to go into withdrawal shortly. People who have withdrawal side effects from codeine may experience signs and symptoms that affect their overall health, including their emotional health.

How long withdrawal symptoms lasts will vary by the person. Among the factors that determine the length and intensity of withdrawal include:

  • A person’s age, health, and lifestyle
  • Codeine tolerance
  • How long codeine has been used
  • Dose taken
  • Whether other substances, such as alcohol, were used along with codeine
  • Addiction

Withdrawal effects should be expected within the first few hours after the last dose is taken. According to HealthLine, symptoms take place in two phases. In the first phase, certain symptoms appear within a few hours of the last dose taken. In the second phase, other symptoms appear as the body attempts to repair itself and return to normal.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive yawning
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Rashes
  • Runny nose
  • Teary or watery eyes
  • Sweating
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Codeine cravings that last months or years after a person has quit the drug
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Long-term depression
  • Memory problems
  • Muscle problems
  • Possibility of relapse as codeine is widely accessible
  • Tiredness
  • Death
CODEINE WITHDRAWAL TIMELINE

Heroin Timeline

How long withdrawal lasts depends on various factors, including:

  • A person’s physical health and genetics
  • How long the person has been using codeine
  • The dosage they have taken
  • Environment
  • Whether addiction and/or dependence is an issue

The timeline below gives a general idea of what withdrawal looks like, but keep in mind that the schedule will not look the same for everyone as each person is unique.

Withdrawal can take at least a week or longer, though each person’s situation and experience will differ. Duration and intensity depend on several things, including the kind of codeine ingested.

Here’s a general outline of what a seven-day withdrawal looks like.

Withdrawal begins within the first few hours after the last dose is taken. Users may come down with flu-like symptoms on the first day. This can last throughout the next few days. Nausea, insomnia, diarrhea, cramps, and depression can be expected. In addition to these symptoms, users may experience headaches, dilated pupils, excessive sweating, goose bumps, and restless legs syndrome.

At this stage, users may start to see their physical symptoms wear off, but will need to increase their water intake due to dehydration. Some users may notice changes in their mental and/or emotional states. These changes may include depression, anxiety, irritability, or other mental health conditions.

Withdrawal codeine symptoms likely will have ended during this stage, but the mental and emotional changes may continue. Codeine cravings also may continue during the next few months, or in some cases, years. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) may bring anxiety, low confidence, fatigue, guilt, shame, and, in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts. Recovering users who are struggling with mental health challenges should seek medical help or advice before, during, and after drug treatment.

CODEINE WITHDRAWAL TREATMENT

Heroin Treatment

Once codeine dependence and/or addiction has set in, the user has only two choices to make: Either the person chooses to continue using codeine and furthering his condition and risking experimentation with stronger opiate medicines, or he can choose to weather the uncomfortable withdrawal phase and aim to leave codeine- and drug-free.

Knowing what to expect as symptoms occur can prepare the user for what’s to come. It’s reasonable to expect that there will be discomfort, and while most withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, seeing a licensed medical professional to manage them gets many through this difficult process.

CODEINE WITHDRAWAL FAQS

Heroin FAQ

Codeine is an opiate medication prescribed to treat short-term cases of mild-to-moderately severe pain. It is in the same class of drugs that includes heroin, OxyContin, and other opioid pain relievers. The federal government considers codeine a Schedule II narcotic drug, which means it has high potential for abuse.

“Sizzurp” is a codeine-laced concoction containing a cough medicine made of the antihistamine promethazine and codeine, some kind of soda, such as Sprite or Mountain Dew, and hard Jolly Rancher candies. The cough syrup dyes give the drink its purplish color, which is why the recreational drink is called “purp,” “purple drank,” and “lean” on the streets and in popular rap and/or hip-hop songs. Users should be aware they are risking a fatal overdose on codeine as they imbibe the purple drank.

How long withdrawal lasts will vary by the person. Among the factors that determine the length and intensity of withdrawal include:

  • A person’s age, health, and lifestyle
  • Codeine tolerance
  • How long codeine has been used
  • Dose taken
  • Whether other substances, such as alcohol, were used along with codeine
  • Addiction

Tapering is a method used in medically supervised detox that gradually reduces the dosage of codeine to safely wean the client off the medication as they experience withdrawal symptoms. The client’s physician usually determines the tapering schedule, but tapering too quickly comes with risks, among them uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and relapse.

At-home treatments are typically not supervised by a medical professional in a licensed facility, which could put you at risk for dangerous withdrawals or relapse. If you are experiencing codeine withdrawal and are going through the symptoms after stopping long-term use of the drug, you should seek treatment from a facility that is equipped to help end codeine use.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM CODEINE DRUG TREATMENT

WHEN YOU GET THERE

At a drug rehab center, you can start your recovery with a healthy support group of trained clinical staff, other like-minded recovering addicts, and addiction counselors that only want you to succeed.

PROGRAMS VARY BY INDIVIDUAL

Addiction treatment programs will vary by individual and substance, depending on the severity of his addiction and whether other treatment methods need to be included, such as dual-diagnosis or holistic therapies.

MEDICATIONS USED IN CODEINE DETOX

Some medications that may be expected are: buprenorphine, Suboxone, and methadone. Medicines for non-pain health conditions may also be administered, such as for diabetes and high blood pressure.

DANGERS OF STOPPING CODEINE COLD TURKEY

While some people do suddenly stop using codeine after a long period, which is known as “going cold turkey,” it is not recommended. Detoxing from codeine dependence and addiction under medical supervision is highly advised. It keeps clients safe while ensuring their needs are met as they cope with withdrawal, which can be uncomfortable. Getting medical help with a codeine detox also reduces the possibility of relapse, some say. Tapering is also a method some use as they reduce their usage. It is also advised that people using this approach seek help from a licensed medical professional as well.

CODEINE WITHDRAWAL STATISTICS

50%

According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of all U.S. opioid-related drug overdoses involve a prescription opioid like codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

20%

An estimated 20 percent (or 1 out of 5) of people are prescribed opioids in office-based settings, despite not being diagnosed with pain-related causes.

2.95%

In 2014, 2.95 percent of those ages 12 and older reported having used codeine for recreational purposes at some point in their lifetime. This percentage has decreased since 2002 by an average of 1.6 percent per year.

GET 24/7 HELP NOW

LET OUR TEAM GUIDE YOU ON THE
RECOVERY JOURNEY.

LOOKING FOR ADDICTION TREATMENT?

BROWSE OUR DIRECTORY BELOW.