Is Codeine Addictive?

Is codeine addictive a drug that a doctor may prescribe for pain, coughing, & sleeplessness. Have you ever wondered if codeine, commonly prescribed medication,

Is Codeine Addictive?
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Codeine is a drug that a doctor may prescribe for pain, coughing, and sleeplessness. Have you ever wondered if codeine, a commonly prescribed medication, Is codeine addictive? If so, you're not alone. Short-term use of codeine under the supervision of a doctor is generally safe, but note that the drug can lead to dependence and addiction. Sometimes, people can experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking this medicine. In most cases, the symptoms can heal relatively quickly, and treatments are available to alleviate them. A doctor may prescribe a different medication if you have developed codeine dependence or addiction. Keep reading along to learn more about codeine addictions.

What is codeine medication?

Is codeine addictiveCodeline belongs to the class of drugs called opioids. People who have become dependent or have used the drugs for extended periods can experience withdrawal when they stop taking this medication. The withdrawal symptoms are the body's physical reaction against substances and the absence of the medication. These withdrawal symptoms can be very difficult to handle for many people. Also, Read Drug Addiction & Substance Abuse: Symptoms & Treatment

Dependence vs. addiction to codeine medication?

Note that dependence and addiction to codeine will not mean the same thing. Dependence is for physical pain symptoms relief, and addiction is described as a person being unable to stop using the medication codeine, even when they know it causes physical and psychological harm. Doctors will typically diagnose you for substance abuse and disorders to indicate that you have become addicted over time, and codeine has the potential to become an addictive drug.

Is codeine addictive?

Yes, codeine can be addictive. Codeine is an opioid medication that can produce a sense of euphoria and relaxation when taken in higher doses or for an extended period. Continued misuse of codeine can lead to physical dependence and addiction. It is important to use codeine only as directed by your doctor and to be aware of the potential risks associated with its addictive nature. If you have concerns about codeine use or addiction, it is recommended to consult with a medical professional for guidance and support. Also, Read Compulsive Gambling Addiction: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Why does codeine addiction happen?

Frequent use of codeine causes the body to become dependent on the drug. Over time, the body needs codeine as a necessary medication for normal functioning. This can also be known as drug dependence. Quitting the drug disrupts the body's normal functioning, which causes this wide range of symptoms. Some factors that can increase the risk of codeine addictions include taking a higher dosage of codeine for longer durations and drinking alcohol or taking other drugs that can interact with the medication, especially Xanax and Valium, which have a higher risk of a life-threatening overdose.

What are the symptoms of codeine addiction?

Doctors can diagnose addiction by checking for substance abuse disorders, and over time, the dependence on codeine medication will potentially become an addiction. Treating symptoms might involve detoxing, which can be included in a period of withdrawal and symptoms that can result in treating the addition of codeine. This may explain why opioids are the leading cause of addiction.The symptoms of codeine addiction can be physical and psychological, like an intense and overwhelming feeling to use the drug. It can worsen after hours and days with a distorted sense of reality and believing that the codeine is the only thing making life worthwhile. Sometimes, these signs can be-Not everyone will have the withdrawal required for the treatment; however, people should talk to their doctor regarding the symptoms or require treatment for substance use like codeine and disorders.Read Also: What is Internet Addiction Disorder?

What are the treatments for codeine addiction?

The treatment for codeine addiction depends on the withdrawal symptoms that the person has generated while using this drug. This includes pain relievers, NSAIDs, and other muscle or joint pain relievers.
  1. Antidiarrheal medication can help with stomach pain and digestive problems.
  2. Antinausea medication can help relieve stomach pain d digestive problems.
  3. People with severe dehydration will require IV fluids, and the doctor can recommend undergoing supervised withdrawal in the hospital or additional center.
  4. Some nonmedication treatments that can help with addiction like natural therapy.
  5. Supporting the person to resist the cravings.
  6. Treating the underlying condition like chronic pain or depression.
  7. Treating an underlying disease with lifestyle changes and replacing addictive behaviors with pursuits of beneficial supporting activities. 
  8. Psychological therapies.
  9. Medication to help improve mental health
While dependence on codeine for addiction will involve psychological and physical factors, treating withdrawal is the only aspect of the treatment.Read Also: How To Stay Healthy During Addiction Recovery?

What are the treatments for severe codeine addiction?

In severe cases of codeine addiction, there can be several withdrawal symptoms, and these can only be treated with medication like-

1. Buprenorphine

  • Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist codeine addiction. POAs stimulate the same opioid receptors as codeine but to lesser extents. 
  • As a result, these medications help relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms without increasing a person's reliance on codeine.
  • While buprenorphine remains a vital tool in treating opioid addiction, the Food and Drug Administration recently warned that oral administration may induce tooth decay, even in persons with no history of dental problems.

2. Methadone

  • A doctor can prescribe methadone against an opioid like codeine, but only in extreme drug dependency and withdrawal cases. 
  • Methadone stimulates opioid receptors more than POAs, making it particularly useful in reducing people's addiction to codeine and other opioids.
  • However, methadone can lead to dependence. 
  • As a result, a person should consult with a doctor about the disadvantages and benefits of using methadone to relieve codeine withdrawal symptoms.

3. Codeine withdrawal timeline

Withdrawal symptoms of codeine can start from 8 to 24 hours, and the person who last used the drug may have symptoms that do not appear until after. The severity and duration of codeine withdrawal can vary from person to person. Some people can experience milder symptoms, while others can change seriously on that person's dosage. Some people feel so overwhelmed by withdrawal that they treat their symptoms with a small dose of codeine. But note that taking codeine for limited periods can also have longer symptoms because they become more severe.

4. Precautions while taking codeine-

It will be better to not quit the medication without any medical consultation for some people like-
  1. Pregnant Mothers
  2. Have another dependent
  3. Have a co-occurring mental health condition
  4. Have a history of severe health problems and chronic health issues 
  5. You should not take medication higher than the recommended dosage
  6. Without a doctor's prescription, it should not be taken by anyone
  7. it should not be taken for longer durations.
Some people can wear the codeine off, and talking to the doctor before quitting the medication is helpful. A doctor can offer treatment options and ease the withdrawal symptoms. Also, Read 8 Typical Daily Routines Of Drug Addicts At Rehab!


Is codeine addictive may vary depending on the dosage and duration of use? While a limited dosage of codeine can create dependence but not an addiction, you should not say that codeine addiction is a severe health issue and can cause lasting harm. The longer the person uses codeine, the harder it becomes to quit. Therefore, the best time for someone with codeine addiction is to stop using the drug immediately. The symptoms of codeine addiction are intense, and the most common symptoms usually pass within a few days. Acknowledging addiction, the doctor can suggest ways to minimize withdrawal symptoms and help quit codeine. Psychological symptoms of caffeine withdrawal can last for several weeks, and a person can overcome these symptoms with ongoing care and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is codeine an opioid?

Yes, codeine is an opioid.

Is codeine safe for adults?

Codeine phosphate is safe when consumed in a limited amount.

How much codeine is safe in a day?

The usual dose of codeine that is safe for consumption is 15 to 60 mg, and the usual dose for treating pain is 30mg.

Is codeine safe for children?

The Codeine drug is safe for children younger than 12.

What is the primary drug in codeine?

Codeine is a combination of aspirin and paracetamol.