Codeine Detox & Withdrawal

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Codeine Detox & Withdrawal Services

Codeine, or 3methylmorphine, is a commonly prescribed narcotic and antitussive medication, for the treatment of pain relief, coughing caused by bad colds and sleep problems. Even when used under prescription, it poses the risk of addiction and is best used for short term treatment. Codeine is broken down by the liver and reverts into morphine.

In its pill form, codeine is usually combined with acetaminophen. Codeine syrup is also combined with soda, candies and sugar and consumed as “lean” or “purple drank” by young people and adolescents. It has the street name “lean” because people can fall over after drinking it, and need to lean on something. Purple drank can cause dizziness, blurry vision and memory problems, and it can become highly addictive when consumed regularly and in large amounts, which adding sugar and soda encourages.

Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms

It is possible to experience withdrawal symptoms even if you have been taking codeine under prescription or medical guidance. If you have been taking it for a long time or in large amounts, it’s quite possible for you to develop a dependence. When you do not take your expected dose you may experience flu-like physical symptoms that may initially include

  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Shakiness
  • Muscle aches
  • Trembling in your extremities
  • Changes to your blood pressure and respiratory rate
  • An irregular heart rate
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Sleeplessness

If you have consumed lean, you will feel the effects of the concoction 30 to 45 minutes after ingestion, peaking around one or two hours afterwards and lasting for around four hours. Adding soda, sugar and candies to the drink makes it easier to drink, and overdose is a real risk, particularly if the dose of codeine is unknown or if it is laced with PCP, cocaine,alcohol or hydrocodone. It’s estimated that some formulations of lean may contain up to 25 times the recommended dose of codeine.

Timeline of Withdrawal Symptoms

Codeine doesn’t stay in your system for a long time. If you have been using large amounts, you may experience a rapid onset of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms may begin 6 to 12 hours after your last dose however some people only start to experience withdrawal after 24 – 40 hours. The initial withdrawal symptoms are usually described as flu-like and then progress to include psychological and emotional effects.

Day one to four after cessation
By day four your physical symptoms will reach their peak. Muscle pain, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia and headaches are common – essentially the withdrawal symptoms are the opposite of the pleasurable effects that most people take codeine for.

Day five to seven after cessation
By the end of the first week most of the physical symptoms start to dissipate, and the psychological symptoms are likely to begin.

Day eight to 30 after cessation
A month after your last dose, most of your symptoms should have subsided however depression may persist. Depression and cravings can last for months.

How to Detox from Codeine Safely

The safest approach to Codeine detox is to have 24-hour medical supervision in a detox center. This means that a medical professional oversees the process, monitoring your vital signs, ensuring you are taking enough fluids in, and supplementing with vitamins and electrolytes to keep you stable.

Medications may be administered to relieve the most intense withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes replacement medication will be used to make your withdrawal symptoms more manageable. Commonly used medications for symptomatic management include Buprenorphine, clonidine, naltrexone and methadone.

Trusting Your Doctors

Trusting your care team is a very important component of your detox. This means that you should try to be as honest as you can regarding the amount of Codeine you have used, the frequency with which you have been taking it, and whether you have abused other substances or alcohol. These facts empower your GP or rehab doctor to make the most informed decisions on your behalf and influence your detox program.

Addiction is recognized as a treatable medical disease, and GPs and private rehab doctors do not judge their patients. Their mandate is to help you in the safest and most comfortable way. Being completely honest may not be a pleasant experience for you, but it could very well help you to avoid dangerous side effects and complications, and give you a better chance of a successful outcome.

Risk factors

A lot of sources claim that detoxing from codeine is not physically dangerous because it is considered milder than other opioids, but this is a misleading statement, as your symptoms can get progressively worse. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Vomiting puts you at risk of aspiration, or inhaling your stomach contents, which can lead to a lung infection.

Relapse is a very big risk to take into account, because of the risk of overdose death. Codeine depresses your central nervous system, affecting your heart rate and respiration. A significant slow down in breathing reduces oxygen to your brain, which can lead to coma, brain damage or death.

In a Residential Setting

If you detox in a residential setting, you will live at the detox center for the duration of your program. This means you are in a distraction-free and controlled environment that is conducive to breaking your physical dependency. You will be monitored 24-hours a day to stabilize your comfort and manage intense withdrawal symptoms. This is essential to avoid relapse, as many clients realize that taking more Codeine relieves withdrawal when they attempt to detox at home.

A residential setting is advisable when your home environment is unstable, if you have been abusing other substances or alcohol and if you have any co-occurring illnesses.

Why Choose United Recovery for Codeine Detox?

Our medical facilities have been purpose-built to help clients detox safely from Codeine. We have all the necessary equipment as well as a team of committed and compassionate medical staff who ensure that you are well looked after at every step of your impatient treatment program. Our detox center specializes in creating tailored management plans for each client, to help you achieve your life goals through long term sobriety.

Our medical staff are specialists in addiction and recovery and will ensure you are safe and comfortable, in a distraction-free and stable environment throughout your detox program.

About United Recovery Project

Why Choose United Recovery CA for Drug Detox and Withdrawal?

Our medical detox and rehabilitation center has been designed for comfort and safety. We enable our patients to retreat into a luxurious and non-judgmental space where you receive 24-hour medical supervision and clinical interventions to help you forge your long term recovery path. Once your drug detox is complete you can enroll for in-patient or out-patient rehab in a familiar setting as you learn the tools and coping skills required to address the underlying triggers that resulted in your drug dependency. Aftercare, support groups and sober living homes provide you with extended care programs that facilitate long term sobriety in an understanding community.

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Is a Detox Enough to Tackle Addiction?

A detox program tackles one aspect of addiction: physical dependence. Once physical dependence is broken, the psychological and emotional aspects need to be addressed through a rehab program, either in a residential setting or outpatient basis. Human beings are complex individuals and your life experiences have shaped who you are and the decisions you have made.

By enrolling in a rehab program after detox you can work through experiences like trauma, abuse, adverse childhood experiences and life stressors that have impacted on your Codeine dependency. These issues are best explored through one-on-one therapy and group therapy sessions. One-on-one therapy allows you to delve deeper into yourself and your past, while group therapy gives you different perspectives as other members discuss their triumphs and challenges on their path to long term sobriety.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is tolerance?

Drug detox can be dangerous, depending on the drug in question, the length of time you have used it for, and frequency of your use. This is why a medically supervised detox is the safest way to move forward.
Your risk is further elevated if you have attempted multiple detoxes in the past, as your withdrawal symptoms will worsen each time. Dual diagnosis and co-occurring dependencies can complicate detox, and need to be medically supervised.

Does my insurance cover codeine detox?

We recommend that you contact your health insurance provider to find out how much of your detox program they will cover. Most insurance companies will cover at least some portion of a medical detox, and a rehab program with medication, however there is a chance you would need to make a co-payment. We advise you to find out before enrolling in your detox program so you can make the necessary financial arrangements.

When should I seek detox?

If you’ve been using Codeine for a long period of time, using more than prescribed, using it without a prescription, or using someone else’s prescription, you should consider a detox. If you find yourself needing more Codeine than previously, it is a sign you have developed a tolerance and it’s time to reassess. Codeine dependence can affect your interpersonal relationships, home life and career, and if your use is impacting on other areas of your life, it is a good time to detox.

Can I get a detox-only program?

Recovering from a Codeine dependency is a process, and a detox program is the first step. The detox will break through your physical dependence on Codeine but you will need to address the psychological and emotional aspects through a longer term rehab program to support long term sobriety. Your dependence is a symptom, and the underlying causes of that symptom need to be worked through, in individual and group therapy sessions. You can expect this process to take some time and embracing it can make long term recovery more viable.

Will my employer know about this?

Your medical history is private and your employer will only know about your detox if you tell them. While your employer can terminate your employment if your dependency interferes with your ability to do your job, they cannot terminate or discipline you for it.

Can I detox from codeine at home?

A home detox from Codeine is not recommended, as some symptoms can be life-threatening. A tapering-off approach is advisable and this needs to be managed by a medical professional, in a very gradual way to be as safe as possible. While it does make the detox period last for longer, tapering-off is the safest way to rid your system of Codeine.

Do You Need Help?

You can get better with the right support. Don’t hesitate to contact us now so that we can discuss the next steps.