Thursday, 28 May 2015
CODEINE ABUSE & ADDICTION EFFECTS, SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Codeine, one of the most commonly used opioid narcotics in the world, is a relatively short-acting analgesic, with most effects lasting a few hours. A member of the opiate class of narcotic prescription medications, codeine is derived from a member of the opium poppy plant. Opiates include other drugs such as heroin, Vicodin, hydrocodone, OxyContin, and Demerol. Codeine is generally prescribed by a physician to treat mild-to-moderate levels of pain, manage a pesky cough, and occasional treat gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea. Most individuals who are prescribed codeine to manage a medical illness take the drug directly as prescribed and never have a problem, but some individuals develop an addiction.
Used for centuries to manage pain in chronic pain sufferers, codeine and other opiates are becoming the drug of choice for many drug addicts. In fact, opiates are now the most commonly abused drug in the world. Opiates such as codeine are drugs of abuse due to the powerful effects on the user. In addition to pain relief, in higher doses codeine can lead to a pleasurable euphoric sensation. When opiates enter the central nervous system, they activate the reward system of the brain, allowing for excessive release of pleasurable hormones. It is this feeling that codeine addicts crave.
While many individuals do find that codeine is a miracle drug for the relief of symptoms, codeine addiction is no miracle. Like any addiction, codeine use and abuse can lead to devastating health and interpersonal problems. Many individuals who abuse codeine become tolerant to the mild effects of the narcotic and begin to abuse heavier and stronger narcotics to achieve greater highs. In addition, many individuals with codeine addiction begin to use other drugs such as benzodiazepines and alcohol in order to achieve greater highs. Others may abuse codeine and stimulant drugs in order to reduce the side effects of the stimulants and produce a more mellow high.
Codeine addiction is a serious disorder that can cause much suffering for all involved. Prompt medical treatment and therapy are necessary to reduce the ill-effects of codeine.
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