4 Things You Should Know About Codeine

Codeine is a legal drug administered for pain relief and cough suppression. It is an opiate, and as a result it is often abused for its perceived benefits. Here are four things you may not know about codeine to educate yourself and keep your teen safe.

How do People Acquire Codeine?

The first thing you might be wondering is how someone obtains codeine. Codeine is present in many cough and cold medications as well as prescription drugs, making it easy for teens to access. If a teen doesn’t have their own prescription, they might steal from others, get it from their friends, purchase it on the street or order it illegally online.

What are Codeine’s Opioid Effects?

Codeine attaches to cell receptors that drive pleasure and reward systems—similar to heroin. It can provide the user with feelings of euphoria, pleasure and relaxation.

What are its Negative Side Effects?

Negative side effects of abusing codeine include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Opiate addiction

How Can you Spot a Codeine Addiction?

If codeine is so accessible, how do you know if someone has an addiction to it? Here are some signs and symptoms of a possible codeine addiction:

  • Increased tolerance to codeine’s medical effects
  • Drastic measures to acquire codeine including frequent visits to multiple doctors, fabricating illnesses to receive prescriptions and stealing medication from friends and family.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when stopping use such as cramps, diarrhea, intense body pain, tremors, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, loss of appetite and depression.

If someone you know exhibits signs of a codeine addiction, help them to seek professional medical support.

Feature image Wikimedia Commons