When people think of codeine, they typically think of cough syrup. However, the amount codeine in cough syrup is not a terribly high concentration. Instead, codeine is often prescribed on its own to help combat mild pain or diarrhea. Codeine works as a painkiller because it breaks down throughout the user’s digestive system and becomes morphine, although it is far less powerful than pure morphine. Despite being mild, codeine still has a high propensity for abuse, and is commonly abused by adolescents.
Like other opiates, codeine can cause nausea and vomiting, especially when overused. In addition to that, people who abuse codeine are also prone to extreme weight loss, due to loss of appetite. Over time, codeine abuse may even be life threatening, as it can cause an irregular heartbeat, which increases the chances of heart attack by overdose. Brain damage is also a common physical side effect of codeine, which may leave the user in a coma.
Codeine isn’t just a harmful drug to your body, but there are severe mental effects that codeine can have on an addict. Withdrawals from codeine will leave a user feeling irritable, and makes them prone to severe mood swings. Insomnia is also a common side effect, along with increased risk of several mental disorders, such as depression or generalized anxiety disorder.
In the world of opiates, codeine is actually fairly mild. It is 80%-90% weaker than morphine. However, this brings us to the other reason that codeine abuse can be so incredibly dangerous: its propensity to be used as a gateway drug. If a codeine addict gets cut off of their regular prescription of codeine, a user may be inclined to turn to street drugs that are both stronger and cheaper.
If you or someone you know in Utah needs help kicking a codeine addiction, then don’t hesitate to call the caring team at Renaissance Ranch, today.