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What to Expect in Codeine Detox

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Codeine detox can be very difficult, as codeine has withdrawal symptoms similar to those of other opiates like heroin and morphine. In rehab centers, your codeine detox will be regulated by doctors in order to insure the process is as easy as possible. Whether you receive treatment at a rehab or detox facility or try to deal with codeine withdrawal on your own, it is still a very uncomfortable process.


The good news is that codeine withdrawal is not life-threatening. However, this does not mean that it won’t be uncomfortable, unpleasant, and even painful. It is often necessary for many people to go to a detox center in order to manage their withdrawals. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, here are some possible withdrawal symptoms that you may encounter:

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Medical professionals can help you through your detox safely.

  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Depression
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea


When you go to a detox center, there are different medications that are often used to ease these symptoms. As stated by the National Library of Medicine, “the most commonly used medication, clonidine, primarily reduces anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, and cramping.” This will help curb some of the worst and most uncomfortable symptoms of codeine withdrawal. There are also other medications that can help with diarrhea and vomiting.

Controlled Detoxification

This can be very important to someone going through severe withdrawals for a long period of time. If you decide you want to end your dependence on codeine but continue to stay in an environment where it is readily available to you, it will become difficult for you to stop taking the drug. Codeine is addictive, and addiction causes cravings.

At a detox center, doctors and nurses can help you by using medications to ease withdrawal symptoms or even by tapering off the amount of codeine you are ingesting. If you choose to detox from codeine by yourself when you are strongly addicted to the drug, you might find yourself breaking the rules you’ve set for yourself, especially if the codeine is still available to you.

A Better Chance for Recovery

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, detox centers lay the groundwork for further addiction treatment that goes beyond initial withdrawal symptoms. Beyond neutralizing much of the discomfort caused by codeine withdrawal, “appropriate opioid detoxification strengthens the therapeutic alliance between the patient and clinician” which gives the patient more of a reason to stay in treatment. This can be highly beneficial to the patient and can ensure that he or she attends other aspects of addiction treatment (such as behavioral therapy), instead of merely believing detox to be enough.

It is important to remember that detox is only the first step to your eventual recovery, but it is a big step. Some people do relapse because withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable or because their addiction becomes too strong for them. At a detox center, there are people who are trained to help you through the first and one of the most difficult phases of addiction recovery.

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Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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