Codeine is a prescription pain medication used to treat mild to moderate pain. It comes in tablet form and as the main ingredient in prescription-grade cough suppressants. Tylenol 3, another popular pain reliever, is codeine combined with acetaminophen.
Codeine is an opiate or narcotic. Though less potent, codeine provides effects similar to morphine. Other opiates include oxycodone, heroin and morphine.
Codeine Effects and Abuse
Codeine use often starts out innocently enough with a prescription for a codeine-based cough syrup. Because codeine is less regulated than some opiates considered to be more dangerous (such as morphine and Oxycontin), getting and abusing it is relatively easy.
The effects of codeine include:
Although some people think the drug seems harmless, side effects of codeine range from drowsiness and constipation to blindness and respiratory failure. In large enough doses, codeine may even be fatal.
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Addiction to Codeine
An addiction to codeine may develop from continued abuse of the drug in its cough medicine or pill form. Codeine can lull its users into a false sense of security because many people do not consider it to be as powerful or addictive as its opiate family members. Learn the criteria of diagnosing codeine addiction today.
Codeine and Other Drugs
For some people, codeine is only a piece of a larger web of addictions. Sometimes, it is considered the gateway drug into addiction to other substances, especially other opiates like oxycodone or morphine.
Codeine cough syrup is used to make “purple drank.” Purple drank is a recreational form of the drug made by mixing prescription-grade (codeine) cough syrup with soft drinks, such as Sprite or Mountain Dew, for consumption in large doses. It is also called lean, syrup and sizzurp.[/col_inner] [/row_inner]
Overcoming Your Codeine Addiction
Despite the ease with which codeine can be obtained and the drug’s glamorization in popular culture, it is still a dangerous and potentially deadly drug that can cause lives to spiral out of control. If you’re ready to take your life back from a codeine addiction, get in touch with someone who can help you.