A Codeine detox to rid yourself of dependence on Codeine, or its more popular version ‘lean’, can be a grueling experience. It can seem isolating and even near impossible at times to recover from it.
However, with complete knowledge of the issue and the right help, it is very much possible to rid yourself of dependence on any substance.
Codeine, like Morphine, is extracted from the poppy plant. It is, in fact, derived from Morphine but is relatively less strong in terms of its sedative and analgesic effects.
Normally, Codeine is prescribed by doctors for relieving people of cough and diarrhea along with mild to moderate pain. It can be taken in the form of tablets and syrup.
What is Codeine Detox
According to MedlinePlus, Codeine is a sleep-inducing substance that is sold only on prescription. However, since it may seem pleasurable to some people, an unregulated consumption of the substance can lead to strong dependence that may seem difficult to break.
It may also lead some people to turn to morphine when they no longer have access to prescribed pills or syrups. Medicines available in the US that contain Codeine include Cotabflu, Colrex Phenflu (CDX and CD), Maxiflu (CDX and CD), and Airacof among a range of other tablets and syrups.
According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information, there are around 15.6 million people in the world who misuse and are dependent on illegal opioids. When one begins to sense that they are dependent on Codeine and its euphoric effects, they need to realize that a Codeine detox has become essential.
Like other detoxes, it is an attempt to curb one’s dependency on substances that alter the brain and its working. It is no surprise that detox is followed by a range of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may seem daunting at first but, if managed properly, can enable one to come out of the problem more sustainably.
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The Rise of Lean in Popular Culture
Before discussing Codeine, in greater detail, it is essential to understand its place in popular culture. This will enable people to understand where they are likely to encounter lean and how they can avoid it. Codeine is informally referred to as Cody, Schoolboy, Sizzurp, and Syrup. Two other names that are even more popular and normalized are ‘Lean’ and ‘Purple Drank’.
Studies show that Codeine has been glamourized for several years in pop culture. Due to its normalization in social media, music, and cartoons, Codeine and its various ‘popular’ forms have turned into a subculture. Purple Drank, a recreational drink that is a mixture of cough syrup, ice cubes, and soda, is especially popular among young people. This popularization started, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the 90s music scene, where the drink would be referred to.
With time, Purple Drank has come to be associated with a certain social status. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there has been an increase in the number of deaths caused by the overdose of opiates and opioids. This drink is especially a problem when young people are already at a higher risk of drug use, such as at raves.
In the years 2020 and 2021, especially, Codeine dependency has become an epidemic within a pandemic. What is particularly troubling about this normalization of Codeine is that it creates the image that the substance in all its various forms is not addictive or dangerous. It lulls people -especially young people- into a false sense of security that Codeine misuse is neither dangerous nor addictive.
What are Common Signs of Codeine Addiction
According to MedlinePlus, opioid and opiate addiction is characterized by a “powerful, compulsive urge” to continue taking a substance even after the duration of the prescription has ended.
Addiction to codeine is harmful not only because it impacts the chemistry of the brain, creating a need for a stronger dose each time, but also because it affects people’s lives by making them prioritize getting access to the substance over other things in their life.
Here are some common signs that you may be addicted to codeine and that you may need medically assisted management for a codeine detox:
- An abrupt alteration in your sleep schedule
- Forging or stealing prescriptions to get access to Codeine
- Your decision-making is getting weaker
- You are taking increasingly higher doses
- Sudden mood swings that don’t seem ‘you’
- Aggressive behavior
- Getting prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Extreme behaviors (such as uncharacteristic excitement or sedation)
While it is important to remember what signs there are of getting addicted, it must also be remembered that not all people who use Codeine on prescription end up getting dependent on it. There are certain groups of people who may be at a higher risk of getting addicted. So, if you associate with any of the following or similar categories, it is a good idea to consider detox:
- Young people
- People with a history of substance abuse (individual or family)
- Those with unaddressed psychiatric disorders (such as depression)
- People who grew up or live in areas where misuse of drugs is normalized or encouraged
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Broncleer and Cough Syrup with Codeine
The National Library of Medicine claims that one of the most commonly available forms of Codeine is over-the-counter pain and cough relief medicine. As a result, the likelihood of misuse of prescription medicine is high. This is referred to as ‘robotripping’ or ‘skittling.’
As painkillers, especially in dental practices, tramadol and Vicodin are two commonly used medicines that contain Codeine. When these medicinal tablets or syrups are misused, they affect the brain like the way illegal opiates do. The side effects of this are wide-ranging, including palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea, and a fever-like state.
The chemical may also, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, slow down the function of the heart and lungs, as it impacts the nervous system, proving fatal to the person consuming it.
Can You Overdose from Codeine?
As mentioned above, consumption of Codeine in quantities and frequencies greater than the prescribed doses may be harmful to the point of being fatal. This overdose may be intentional, as in the case of young people who consume it recreationally.
Does Codeine Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?
For those who become excessively dependent on Codeine, going ‘cold-turkey’ may prove an unpleasant experience. The longer you have used Codeine, the greater the withdrawal symptoms you will experience from not consuming it. These are similar to withdrawal symptoms of other substances as mentioned in The National Library of Medicine:
- Aching in the body
- An upset stomach (including vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea)
- Flu-like symptoms (a runny nose)
- Fatigue and yawning accompanied by insomnia (an inability to sleep)
- High blood pressure and increased heartbeat
- Feelings of anxiety and irritability
To overcome these symptoms, it is recommended that you seek medically assisted detox, rather than trying to do so in isolation.
A Codeine Withdrawal Timeline
The withdrawal period and the intensity of the withdrawal experienced varies with the length of the time of dependence on the substance and the relative potencies of opioid drugs. This intensity can be gauged on the clinical opiate withdrawal scale (COWS), according to the National Library of Medicine.
However, a Codeine withdrawal can last around a week or so. The symptoms listed above are usually experienced and generally get less severe as the days pass, but that depends on the extent of the dependence. A general week of withdrawal may look like this:
On days 1 to 3, one may experience all the mentioned symptoms along with a severe craving for the drug. Between days 5 and 6, the symptoms peak, especially for those who are long-term users of Codeine. However, between days 7 and 10, symptoms begin to subside and may be limited to irritability, fatigue, and insomnia.
Is Medically Supervised Detox Needed for Codeine
Given the intensity of symptoms and the fact that long-term users may find it hard to abstain from falling right back into the habit on their own. Other than the risk of relapsing, another reason that medication-assisted management for codeine detox is better than going cold turkey on your own is that while not fatal, withdrawal symptoms do prove detrimental to the body.
Problems like nausea, anxiety attacks, increased blood pressure and fever are all issues that require medical assistance. Therefore, a detox that is medically assisted proved the better choice for those who wish to quit Codeine.
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Who Benefits from Codeine Detox?
Those who find that they have begun relying too heavily on Codeine and are consuming it without a doctor’s prescription should consider Codeine detox. However, if the consumption of Codeine begins to hinder your functioning, making you prioritize getting it over everything else, you most certainly would benefit from a redox.
Finding a Codeine Detox Near Me (in New Mexico)
Drug overdose is one of the top five leading causes of death in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and New Mexico as a state. It is also considered a “High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.” There is, therefore, a great need for detox centers in New Mexico.
Long Term Recovery from Codeine is Possible
It is essential to realize that long-term recovery from Codeine is possible through outpatient therapy programs. While most centers encourage clients to move into the facility for the duration of the rehab, several places understand that it is not feasible for all. Such places, therefore, schedule therapy sessions for as long as they may be needed. At Icarus Behavioral, we are dedicated to being with you throughout your recovery journey.
Find Your Wings Again at Icarus Behavioral Health
While Codeine dependency like any other can be detrimental to one’s physical and mental wellbeing, it is critical for all facing the problem to realize that neither is their situation hopeless nor are they alone. If they are willing to get over their problem, all they need to do is reach out and accept the help that comes their way.
At Icarus, we pride ourselves on being a place where you can get affordable detox with trained professionals, who will guide you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate, reach out to our dedicated Admissions staff today for guidance on how to start getting codeine and opioid free today!