What is the Strength of Codeine?
Codeine is an opioid analgesic medication derived from the natural opium. It provides relief for mild to moderate pain. In America, codeine is sold under several brand names, usually in combination with other chemical products. It is available in tablet form or solution as in cough syrups. Codeine is used together with acetaminophen (or paracetamol) to relieve coughing. Codeine binds to opioid receptors in the brain to minimize pain transmission and subsequently provide pain relief. Thus, it changes the response mechanism of the central nervous system, creating the inability to feel pain. In soothing cough, codeine addresses neither the root cause nor symptoms. Instead, it works to reduce activity in the brain area responsible for coughing. However, as is typical with all opioids and many analgesics, codeine is very addictive. If the dosage is not strictly followed, dependence can result.
How Powerful is Codeine?
In tablet form, codeine comes in strengths of 15mg, 30mg, and 60mg. Once taken, its effect can be felt for up to 4 hours and so is usually prescribed in 4-hour cycles. Due to possible side effects with intake, individuals begin with low dosages. It has been reported that taking codeine can cause disruptions in breathing. This potential outcome is one reason why codeine is not recommended for persons under the age of 18. In far less frequent cases, codeine may be administered to children. Still, they must be closely monitored for adverse side effects. Drowsiness and vomiting are other effects that may result from usage. Pregnant and lactating mothers are also advised against using codeine. This is because codeine can cross the placenta and is passed through breastmilk. Therefore, these neonates and newborns can become dependent on codeine and exhibit opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Codeine Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
Addiction is a genuine risk with codeine use. If tablets are taken too frequently or increased without a physician’s recommendation, the individual becomes at risk of chemical dependence. Tolerance for the drug leads to dependence. Once pain relief becomes harder to obtain, the individual takes more codeine to cope with physical or emotional pain. This initiates the cycle of addiction. Codeine seems to be a gateway to opioid addiction as it introduces individuals to the euphoria opiates typically elicit. This leads to people combining codeine with other opiates to sustain its euphoric or sedative properties. However, the illicit combination of codeine with other drugs can prove fatal. Hence, strict adherence to dosage is cautioned. If unfavorable side effects or dependence begins to set in, it is advised to discontinue use.
Find Help if you Become Addicted to Codeine
Stopping codeine use suddenly results in a series of withdrawal symptoms. These include difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite, increased heartbeats, and enlarged pupils. These withdrawal symptoms, side effects, and potential risks of codeine use necessitate getting specialized treatment if individuals become dependent. Several rehab facilities in New Jersey provide extensive treatment programs for this cause. At NJ Addiction Resources, we will help connect you to these centers. Complete recovery plans tailor-made for you involving detox, therapy, and other essential steps will help you recover. Becoming sober is not guaranteed to be easy, but let us make it as comfortable as can be for you. Contact any of our recovery advocates today.