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If you or someone you know has been abusing codeine, codeine detox is necessary. Like other opioids, codeine can be addictive and cause a variety of physical and emotional health risks and withdrawals from codeine can be just as serious as the withdrawals from heroin or morphine abuse.
How is Codeine Abused?
“Sippin on syrup” is a slang term that many codeine abusers use. The idea that an individual can discreetly use the drug in public places is nothing new. Abusers often drink the syrup, straight, mixed with other liquids, flavored with candies, or combined with other ingredients. Drinking codeine-promethazine cough syrup, also known as “Syrup,””Sizzurp,” “Lean” in groups, night clubs, or openly on the street is a favorite pastime of abusers. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is is called lean “because if you sip on it all day long it is like getting very drunk and you literally have to lean on something to stand up.”
Frequently, users dip marijuana in codeine to smoke “candyblunts” or they combine other ingredients such as PCP or cocaine with the joints.
Codeine is abused by parents and teenagers who may consider it safe because it is prescribed to children. Codeine may be a cheap alternative to other opioid substances because it can be obtained easily or for free through insurance plans and Medicaid.
Who Needs Codeine Detox?
When codeine is repeatedly abused it causes the person to develop physical and psychological dependencies because of the opioid content of the drug. Like other opioids, withdrawals are inevitable when they try to suddenly stop using codeine and rather than quit, many abusers will resort to taking more codeine to avoid those symptoms. In order to break this cycle, those who experience the following need codeine detox:
- Tolerance – an increased need for more codeine in order to achieve the same desired effects.
- Dependency – the reliance on the opioid chemical of codeine to feel a sense of well being or normalcy and without it, withdrawals are imminent.
- Withdrawals – vary in intensity and duration depending on several factors of the person’s health, and coexisting conditions. They can be flu-like in nature, with symptoms of cravings, nausea, fever, muscle pain, agitations, restlessness, chills, and fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure. In chronic cases more serious symptoms of anxiety, depression, dehydration, prolonged diarrhea and vomiting with other physical or psychological symptoms possible.
- Obsessions and compulsions to use codeine – Opioid abuse changes the way a person’s brain functions. Their thoughts, actions, and behaviors begin to revolve around drug abuse and they will continue to use it despite the consequences.
- Physical or psychological impairments and unwanted behaviors – negatively impact the addict or others and the person continues to use codeine, a sign of addiction.