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Codeine is a narcotic pain-reliever, much like hydrocodone but in liquid form. This drug numbs the receptors to the brain that initiate pain signals when you are hurt. Codeine slows down your entire system including breathing and the process of thinking. Codeine must be prescribed by a doctor. If the medication is used when not prescribed it is considered to be abuse of the drug. If you don’t have prescription, you simply shouldn’t be using it.
Many people abuse this narcotic for recreational purposes or to get high. Street names for this drug are Lean, Double Cup, Dirty Sprite, and Pimp C. You shouldn’t mess around with this drug. Codeine is dangerous when abused and can be easy to overdose on if taken in excess. So what are the symptoms you should recognize if you or someone you care about might have overdosed on codeine?
Symptoms of Overdose
- Labored breathing
- Cold and clammy skin
- Extreme drowsiness
- Unable to stand or sit upright
- Loss of motor skills
- Slowed heartbeat
- Abnormally small pupils
You should seek IMMEDIATE help if any of these symptoms are occur while you are taking codeine. Don’t down play these symptoms. Call your doctor or 911 as soon as possible. It’s better to be on the safe side if you are concerned that you might have overdosed on codeine. Be honest about your use of the drug even if you don’t have a prescription.
If you have experienced a codeine overdose you may have a bigger problem on your hands. Many underestimate the addictive qualities of codeine because it is not as strong as other drugs that fall into the opiate category such as oxycontin, percocet, and vicodin. When codeine is abused the chances of being addicted are greatly increased. If you think that you might have developed a dependence to codeine you might need to seek professional help.
Treatment is available for addictions to drugs like codeine through in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation facilities. Talk to your doctor about different options that are available. Together you can decide whether in-patient or out-patient treatment would be best for you. Medications like suboxone have revolutionized treatments for opiate addictions and more and more people who are seeking treatment are able to seek therapy on an out-patient basis.
This allows for minimal disruption in the person’s life during their treatment. Most can continue to work or go to school and are able to continue living with their families during this time. The length of time treatment lasts can vary but studies show that there is a better chance for long term recovery if the program lasts for at least six months.
Medical & Behavioral Therapy
A combination of medical and behavioral therapy is considered to be the most effective treatment for addiction. Medications can be given to control the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that are often associated with opiate detox and individual and group counseling are encouraged to help you stay focused during your therapy. According to NIDA, “These options are drawn from research on the treatment of heroin addiction”.