Codeine Withdrawal

About Codeine Withdrawal 

Codeine is a narcotic painkiller that is prescribed to patients needing mild to moderate pain relief. Codeine is distributed in tablet form or as a cough syrup suspension. While codeine is a weaker opioid painkiller, it is still considered to be very addictive. Similar in chemical makeup to morphine, Codeine is often used in combination with other drugs such as acetaminophen or aspirin. One of the pleasant aspects of codeine use are its calming effects and feelings of wellbeing. Codeine works within the central nervous system triggering neurotransmitter release that activates the pleasure center of the brain. Codeine withdrawal is one of the more common reasons clients reach out to inpatient rehab centers in Huntington Beach.


Even for patients who have been given long-term prescriptions by their doctors, can risk developing drug dependency and drug addiction. Codeine tolerance occurs when long-term users experience a decrease in codeine effectiveness, prompting self-medicating outside the prescribed amount. Codeine addiction occurs when codeine withdrawal symptoms occur when the drug is stopped.

Codeine Withdrawal and Addiction

Individuals that use codeine recreationally tend to be trying to soothe painful emotional areas or extreme stress in their lives. Using codeine to alleviate the stress caused by painful experiences will often lead to full-blown codeine addiction. Often, individuals use more than one substance at a time in order to get ‘high’ and escape reality. Polysubstance abuse is quite common with individuals abusing codeine. Some drugs frequently used in conjunction with codeine are benzodiazepines and alcohol. Combining these drugs can lead to dangerous side effects such as a decrease in respiratory function, coma, and even death if taken in higher doses.

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Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms

When an individual has been using codeine for a long period of time, the withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe. Depending on the length of codeine abuse, the long-term effects on the body and withdrawal process will vary based on every individual’s genetic makeup. While it is true that codeine withdrawal symptoms can occur in people who have only been using the drug for a short period of time, most codeine addicts have been using the drug for longer periods of time. Someone who finds themselves physically dependent on pain medications like codeine, the codeine

Someone who finds themselves physically dependent on pain medications like codeine, the codeine withdrawal and detox process shouldn’t be attempted outside the supervision of medical professionals. Some of the more common codeine withdrawal effects individuals in Huntington Beach rehab centers are the following:

  • Intense drug cravings
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills and goosebumps
  • Muscle spasms
  • Stomach cramps
  • Runny nose
  • Hallucinations
  • Homicidal preoccupations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Racing, scattered thoughts
  • Psychosis

Three Phases of Codeine Withdrawal

Hours after the last dose, Demerol withdrawal symptoms will begin to appear. These withdrawal symptoms are not the same for every individual going through detox. It is important to note that Demerol withdrawal is usually not life-threatening, compared to other opiate drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. Relapse while experiencing the early symptoms of Demerol withdrawal is quite common, and individuals needing help to stop using should seek professional inpatient drug rehab in Orange County. Below are some of the more common Demerol withdrawal symptoms clients might experience:

Phase 1

This is considered the most intense phase of codeine withdrawal. The physical symptoms of withdrawal will commonly begin 6 hours after taking their last dose. These symptoms can increase in severity over the next few days and can last for almost a week.


  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramping

Phase 2

This next phase can last as long as 14 days. This is the detoxification phase as the body purges the remaining drugs and accumulated toxins. Without this phase, the body would not be prepared to start restoring normal functions or continue to heal from the withdrawal process.

  • Body cramps
  • Chills and Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Restlessness

Phase 3

This last phase is the longest lasting of the 3 phases. The symptoms clients experience during this part of drug detoxification are lesser in severity but can last up to 2 months. Some of the more common side effects during this phase are:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep Disturbances

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