Codeine Addiction and Treatment Facts

It is common to assume that the term ‘drug addiction’ refers only to illegal substances, but this is not the case. Codeine is a mild opiate drug that is used to treat pain. Although doctors often prescribe the drug, it is also available over-the-counter in lower doses when combined with other pain-relieving ingredients such as paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen.

However, just as it is possible to develop an addiction to illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine or even stronger opiate medications such as fentanyl, it is also possible to become addicted to codeine. Codeine is like all mood-altering substances in that long-term use of it can ultimately alter the structure of the brain and lead to addiction.

If you have found yourself struggling to function without codeine, know that you are not alone. Codeine addiction is a growing problem across the UK, but rest assured that help is available. When you access a programme of treatment and support with Banbury Lodge, we will help you put an end to your codeine abuse once and for all.

What Is Codeine Addiction?

You may have started taking codeine to help relieve mild-to-moderate pain. In the early days, the codeine provided temporary relief but after a while, perhaps the relief you experienced lessened. You may then have been tempted to take more codeine in a bid to achieve the same type of relief as before.

It is important to understand what has happened and why you needed to increase your dose. While most people can take pain relief medication in moderation, some go on to build up a tolerance to the effects. This is more than likely what has happened to you.

The reward system in your brain has been affected by the codeine you are taking. After a while, your body adapted to the codeine and began producing fewer ‘feel-good’ chemicals (dopamine) in response. This is the reason you have felt as though your medication was not working anymore. Your automatic reaction could have been to increase the dosage, and for a while, this may have worked. Nevertheless, the same cycle will occur again and again, with your body adapting to the presence of the codeine.

As this cycle continues, you are likely to develop a physical dependence where your body craves codeine whenever the effects wear off. If you find that you are unable to quit or cut back on the amount of the drug that you are using, it is likely that you have a physical dependence. If your use of codeine is beginning to have a negative impact on daily life, you may very well have an addiction and will require professional help to get things back on track again.

What Are the Symptoms of a Codeine Addiction?

As with all other addictions to mood-altering substances, a codeine addiction can have a profound effect on both mental and physical health. Your codeine addiction is likely to be both physical and psychological. This means that you will suffer a range of physical as well as psychological symptoms. Examples of these symptoms include:

Physical Symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Itching
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow breathing
  • Seizures

Psychological Symptoms

  • Memory loss
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety

The type of symptoms that you experience usually depends on the severity of the addiction, your overall health, your age, and the length of time that you have been addicted to codeine.

As well as the above symptoms, a codeine addiction might lead to a loss of appetite, drowsiness, and a lack of interest in activities or hobbies that you previously enjoyed.

How Does Codeine Addiction Affect Me?

A codeine addiction can have a negative impact on many areas of your life. While your mental and physical health will undoubtedly be affected, you may also find that other areas of your life are also negatively impacted.

For example, if you become preoccupied with codeine, you will likely lose interest in other people, responsibilities, and activities. You could find that your thoughts and actions are consumed by codeine and your need for it.

It is likely that your behaviour will change dramatically. You may experience severe mood swings where you are up one minute and down the next. Nonetheless, this might be something that you do not even notice yourself. It is much more likely that your loved ones will see the changes in you and start to question if your use of codeine is to blame.

Maybe this is something that has already happened? What we often find here at Banbury Lodge is that those who get in touch with us do so on the back of concerns from a family member or friend. If your loved ones are worried about your use of codeine, it may well be time to give us a call.

Where Can I Find the Best Help for My Addiction?

If your life has been negatively affected by your use of codeine, you may be wondering how and where to get help from. There is plenty of help available across the UK with treatment programmes provided by organisations such as the NHS, charities, local support groups, and private clinics.

What you should know, however, is that the best programme for you in terms of helping you to overcome your codeine addiction is the one that is most suited to your individual situation.

To understand this a bit more, know that finding the right programme for your needs requires more than just knowing how severe your addiction is. It is important that various elements of your personal circumstances are considered. Only by doing this can you be sure of accessing the most suitable treatment programme.

What Types of Rehab Programme Are Available?

When it comes to rehab programmes for codeine addiction, there are many different providers; programmes are paid-for or provided free. Organisations such as the NHS and charities provide free programmes while private clinics offer programmes that involve a cost.

While the idea of paying for treatment might be one you are unfamiliar with here in the UK, you should know that when it comes to addiction services, the NHS is severely underfunded. This often leads to long waiting times before a place becomes available. Moreover, with pressure mounting on the NHS from an ageing population, it appears cuts to addiction services will continue for the foreseeable future.

The alternative to a free programme is one provided by a private clinic or counsellor. Although these programmes are typically self-funded, the benefit of being able to get started immediately is one that tends to sway most affected individuals towards private treatment.

Private clinics specialise in inpatient or residential programmes, and this type of care is the most time-consuming approach to getting well. If you are keen to get started with your recovery journey and want to tackle this process in the shortest amount of time, an inpatient programme via a private clinic is the best choice for you.

Having said that, perhaps residential treatment is not the best option for you and your personal situation. It could be that you have family or work commitments that prevent you from entering an inpatient programme for weeks at a time. This does not mean that you cannot access excellent quality care.

Some private clinics provide immediate access to outpatient programmes, where you would attend regular treatment sessions but return home afterwards. If you have a strong support network in place at home and are confident that you will be able to recover and stay sober in the real world, this type of treatment programme may be the best option for you.

What Therapies Will Be Used to Treat My Codeine Addiction?

Counsellors and therapists have several tools at their disposal when it comes to treating codeine addiction. The normal procedure these days is a bespoke treatment plan to be created for individual patients.

Your treatment plan will be devised with your requirements in mind. The reason tailored plans are used in the treatment of all types of addiction is that there is no single method that works for everyone. You are not going to have the exact same needs as everyone else with a codeine addiction, so it is important that the way in which you are treated is sufficient for your own needs and circumstances.

While it is impossible for us to tell you exactly what treatments will be included in your individual treatment plan, we can tell you a bit more about the type of treatments that are regularly used for helping patients to overcome codeine addiction.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy or counselling takes place between you and a counsellor or therapist. This one-to-one treatment is designed to help you develop a relationship with your counsellor that is built on trust. During your treatment sessions, you will work on getting to the cause of your addiction so that you can learn how to move forward to a substance-free life.

Group Therapy

Group therapy sessions are increasing in popularity and are based on the principles of sharing used by fellowship support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The idea is that a group of like-minded individuals can come together to offer support and motivation to each other in their battle to get sober and stay sober.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a popular talking therapy used to help patients overcome addiction. During CBT sessions, your counsellor will work with you to identify negative thoughts or behaviours before helping you to develop positive alternatives. You will then work together to reinforce these positive behaviours and thought patterns until these become your normal response to various life situations.

The above are just some examples of the types of therapy that may form a part of your treatment plan. You might find that your plan also includes elements of:

  • 12-step work
  • motivational enhancement therapy
  • contingency management
  • dialectical behavioural therapy
  • family therapy
  • relapse prevention
  • life and work skills.

In addition, your treatment provider may include elements of holistic therapies to help reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing. Including therapies such as mindfulness, meditation, and music therapy, for example, can help to heal the whole person, as opposed to just the addiction.

How Can I Prevent a Relapse after Rehab?

Many people worry about a relapse before they even begin a programme of rehabilitation because they have heard that relapse is inevitable. This is simply not true. For your information, a relapse is a return of the signs and symptoms associated with an illness. In the case of a codeine addiction, a relapse would indicate a return to use of the drug. However, you can avoid a return to your addictive behaviour by preparing in advance, which is something that you will do with help from your treatment provider.

Should you choose to tackle your codeine addiction with Banbury Lodge, you can rest assured that relapse prevention will form a big part of your treatment programme. We want to help you quit codeine for good and to do this, we will ensure that you have the necessary skills to avoid a relapse going forward.

We will help you to identify your triggers and teach you ways of avoiding a return to addictive behaviours by developing positive coping strategies.

It is our belief that with the right help and support, you can get clean and sober and stay that way permanently. As well as relapse prevention skills during your programme of rehabilitation, you can rest assured that you have access to aftercare support when your programme finishes.

We will provide ongoing support as and when required and will provide assistance in terms of helping you to access external resources within your own community. Aftercare is also available from local fellowship support groups and we encourage all patients to get involved with such groups. We know that having a place to go for support can be a life-saver in terms of preventing a relapse.

Whom Do I Speak to about Treatment for My Codeine Addiction?

If you are ready to get started on your journey to sobriety, please call us today. We have a team of expert advisors ready and waiting to take your call. Our friendly staff will help to put you at ease and assure you that you have nothing to fear from rehab.

We understand that reaching out for help is never easy, but we want you to take comfort in the knowledge that many of our advisors have been through their own addiction and recovery journeys. They know exactly how you are feeling right now and why you might be reluctant to make that call. But they also know that it will be the best thing you ever do.

Please call Banbury Lodge right now to find out more about how we can help you to recover from the codeine addiction that has been slowly destroying your life. We want you to know that no matter how serious you believe your addiction to being or how hard you are finding it to imagine a life where codeine is not an issue, with the right help and support, you can go on to live a substance-free life.

Get in touch with us to inquire about our programmes of treatment and to find out how you could benefit from getting started on your journey to sobriety today. Alternatively, you can simply call to have a friendly chat with one of our advisors to find out more about what the process is for overcoming your addiction once and for all.

We want you to know that we will never try to force you to move on to the next stage of your recovery journey. Nevertheless, when you are ready to accept help for your addiction, we are here for you.

CQC Report