When compared to other opiates, the withdrawal symptoms that present when an individual stops using codeine are more mild and tend to be easier to deal with. However, this isn’t always comforting information for the individual who is actually dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. The physical and psychological discomforts that persist when codeine is abruptly eliminated from daily use can still be very difficult to cope with.
Codeine withdrawal symptoms can include:
- cravings for the drug
- sweating profusely
- runny nose similar to having a cold
- sleeping problems such as being overly tired or having insomnia
- cramps in the muscles
- weakness or lack of energy
- mood swings
The effects of codeine withdrawal will largely depend on the level of codeine abuse, the length of time that the codeine was used and various other factors. Most healthcare professionals recommend gradually tapering off the level of codeine use to reduce the effects of codeine withdrawal. This will include using smaller doses over time to allow the body to more naturally adjust to the difference in codeine use over time and to reduce the negative impact of the withdrawal side effects.
Detox is recommended to ensure that withdrawal is done in a safe and effective manner. Most treatment programs provide safe, medically supervised detox to help patients get past the physical dependence on codeine prior to them receiving treatment for the psychological components of their addiction.
Like other opiates, codeine can cause physical dependence that makes stopping the use of the drug difficult and potentially dangerous for the user. Codeine withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from about 3 d-5 days to more than two weeks if the case of physical dependence is severe. In most instances, codeine withdrawal doesn’t last more than a week and can be reduced with rest, proper diet and in some cases the use of mild drugs. Sometimes, tapering off the amount of codeine that is being used on a gradual basis is also a good option for reducing withdrawal and making the entire process a little bit easier on the user.
If you or someone you know is going through codeine withdrawal and needs help, call our helpline at 1-800-895-1695 today.