Detox is the first step when it comes to overcoming a codeine addiction. Codeine users should detox in a medical environment to safely manage withdrawal symptoms. Many inpatient rehabs and outpatient treatment programs offer medical detox services for codeine users.
Ask for help. Whether you are handling withdrawal on your own or under the supervision of a doctor, it is important to have social support. Tell a trusted friend or family member so that they can check-in and support you during the process. Eat well. Focus on eating nutritious, well-balanced meals. Eating fried, fatty, or sugary foods may make you feel worse. Exercise. Try to get some physical activity each day. Stretching, walking, swimming, or other activities may help boost your mood. Drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated as you are going through withdrawal, especially if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Relieve symptoms with over the counter (OTC) medications. Use appropriate OTC medications at the recommended dosages if you are experiencing symptoms such as headache, upset stomach, or diarrhea. Sleep. While withdrawal can sometimes lead to sleeping difficulties, try to get an adequate amount of rest. Work to establish a regular sleep schedule and practice good sleep habits.
Codeine is a highly addictive opiate painkiller. As a user’s tolerance to the drug builds up, they’ll need higher doses of codeine to feel its effects. After prolonged abuse, users can become physically and psychologically dependent on codeine.
Opiate substitutes, such as methadone or suboxone, may be used in place of codeine to taper off use. These drugs help calm codeine cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, but they can also be addictive if not used properly. These substitutes should not be used without medical supervision.
Another option is to taper off drug use. Tapering off codeine involves slowly limiting the amount of the drug taken each day. The user will gradually adapt to having less of the drug in their system, so the withdrawal is much less severe. Tapering off codeine can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This method is usually recommended over quitting cold turkey and should be monitored by a physician.
People may recognize symptoms of withdrawal when they stop taking or cut back on a substance. Missing your usual morning cup of coffee, for example, might result in symptoms of caffeine withdrawal such as fatigue, headache, and irritability.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.