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Signs & Symptoms of Codeine Abuse

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The effects of codeine can vary based on the chemical structure of the user, as well as the amount that is used, the length of time it is abused, and how pure the codeine is. However, any abuse is harmful.

If codeine abuse leads to addiction, it will require professional treatment, so it is important to seek help as soon as possible because it will take just as long to recover as it took to become addicted.

If you or someone you know is suffering from codeine abuse or addiction, please call 800-429-5210 and someone will assist you in finding the help needed.

Mood Symptoms of Codeine

Codeine abuse can have a noticeable effect on a person’s mood. Often, a codeine user may shift through multiple different moods, exhibiting things such as:

  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety
  • Calmness
  • Depression

According to the National Institutes of Health, some of these symptoms may be serious enough to need to be addressed by a medical professional, like extreme mood swings. A change in mood can branch from the causes of the abuse and enhance the negative emotions, most commonly depression and anxiety. Codeine abuse can also cause the person to feel and act uncharacteristically euphoric and calm.

Behavioral Symptoms of Abuse

Symptoms of Codeine Abuse

Codeine abuse can cause extreme mood shifts.

Codeine is commonly used as a cold medicine, so it is not surprising to find that the abuser will feel drowsier than normal and sleep more than they normally would. Users may exhibit behavior such as apathy or indifference toward their loved ones.

The euphoria an addict gets from codeine abuse may cause further behavioral changes, often so they can get another dose. Behaviors that manifest to acquire more codeine include:

  • Faking illnesses to multiple doctors to obtain more codeine prescriptions
  • Ordering codeine online
  • Forging prescriptions
  • Stealing to get it from their loved ones

Physical Symptoms of Codeine Abuse

While behavioral symptoms are hidden by the abuser, the physical symptoms are very noticeable and can be spotted by family and friends. These symptoms can include:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Dry mouth
  • Seizure
  • Blue tinged lips and fingernails
  • Respiratory depression
  • Rashes
  • Decreased libido
  • Urinary retention
  • Muscle twitches
  • Itching
  • Hypotension

The cause of the physical symptoms may be first mistaken as something else, but they are often severe enough to warrant medical intervention. Treatment of the physical symptoms will usually lead to the uncovering of the person’s codeine abuse.

The Psychological Symptoms

The brain can be affected by codeine abuse and can cause many symptoms that can also be detected by loved ones. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, codeine acts as a depressant of the central nervous system, which can cause a sedative or calm effect. But, it can also cause:

  • Sensation of physical distortion
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of emotion

Codeine abuse can cause just as many problems as addiction and should be treated before it becomes a full blown addiction. By knowing the mood, behavioral, physical, and psychological symptoms of codeine abuse, loved ones can stage an intervention or a sit down and calmly convince the abuser or addict to seek treatment.

For more information on codeine abuse, contact opium.org at 800-429-5210.

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