Top Rated Drug & Alcohol Residential Rehab in Los Angeles, California
Verify your
insurance now
Call today 24/7(888) 346-4350

How to Tell if Someone is Taking Codeine

What is Codeine?

Codeine is a prescription opiate medication and narcotic used to treat mild to moderate pain. It commonly comes in tablet form and is the main ingredient in prescription cough medications. Codeine is also an ingredient in Tylenol 3, a popular painkiller, along with Acetaminophen. Although it is less potent than morphine, it still carries a high risk of dependence and addiction.  Codeine is widely abused worldwide and patients who have been prescribed it, may find they develop an addiction to it.

Most individuals accidentally develop a codeine addiction after being prescribed it by their doctor. It is less regulated than stronger opiates such as morphine and oxycontin which makes getting it and abusing it easier. Although it is less potent than other opiates, it still provides a similar effect to morphine with effects that include:

  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Relaxation
  • Apathy

As with other opiates, codeine users run a high risk of developing tolerance, meaning they need more of the drug to get the same effects, which eventually lead to developing physical dependence. While initially it may be used for a legitimate reason, over time with frequent use and building tolerance, the individual may begin to turn to the drug to cope with their physical and emotional pain. This can then lead to developing a substance use disorder which requires comprehensive addiction treatment plans to overcome.

Codeine is also the main ingredient in Purple Drank, also known as Lean. Purple Drank is a mixture of cough syrup (usually codeine-based cough syrup), soda, hard candy, and sometimes alcohol. With a large enough dose of codeine-based cough syrup, it can create a euphoric effect that can last from three to six hours. Celebrities, especially hip-hop artists, have been glamorizing the cocktail for decades. It has led to the hospitalization, addiction, and death of several rappers, singers, and professional athletes.

Contact The Detox Center of Los Angeles today at (888) 346-4350 to learn how to access our addiction treatment programs

If you or someone you love is struggling with Codeine addiction or any other substance use disorder, the time to get professional help is now. Recovery is possible through evidence-based, personalized treatment at The Detox Center of LA. If you would like more information about our treatment programs, please call us any time day or night at (888) 346-4350.

How is Codeine Abuse Defined?

While codeine is an effective pain killer, it also comes with euphoric effects which may lead to some users chasing that same effect each time. With continued use, tolerance develops, and the person will need more of the drug to get the same euphoric high. Because codeine is an easily obtained legal substance, it can be difficult to draw the line between use, abuse, and addiction. Codeine abuse is defined as using the drug outside of what it is prescribed for or using more than the prescribed amount.

Abusing codeine can lead to the development of physical dependence. When a person develops physical dependence to any substance, their brain and body cannot function properly without it. If they abruptly stop taking the substance or significantly cut down, withdrawal symptoms may develop. This may cause the person to continue taking the substance in order to feel normal.

Clinicians can diagnose Codeine addiction by a specific set of criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. An individual who regularly abuses Codeine may be diagnosed with mild, moderate, or severe addiction, which will help determine the right course of treatment.

Codeine, like other opioids, affects the reward system of the brain and causes the person to achieve the same effect by taking the drug over and over again. Addiction does not happen overnight, but rather is a slow process that moves from mild substance use disorder to severe. Codeine abuse can also lead to the person seeking out and abusing more potent opiates such as fentanyl or heroin to get the same effects. Knowing how to tell if someone is taking or abusing Codeine can help them get treatment sooner which greatly increases their chances of long-term recovery.

Signs of Codeine addiction include:

  • Developing a tolerance to the medication.
  • Unable to stop use, even when wanting to.
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from Codeine abuse.
  • Craving Codeine or other opiates.
  • Developing withdrawal symptoms when not taking Codeine.
  • They no longer participate in activities or hobbies once enjoyed.
  • Problems at work or school, including increased absences or lowered performance.
  • Interpersonal problems such as tension between loved ones, coworkers, and friends.
  • Experiencing financial problems because of substance abuse.
  • Lacking self-care, including not keeping up with hygiene.
  • Engaging in reckless behavior such as driving under the influence.
  • Ignoring home and personal responsibilities, including paying bills on time.
  • Lying about substance abuse.
  • Stealing in order to keep up with their addiction.
  • Development of physical or mental side effects, such as anxiety, depression, and chronic constipation.
  • Increased isolation because they are attempting to hide their substance abuse.
  • Faking illnesses or doctor shopping as a way to get more Codeine.

7 Signs Someone is Taking Codeine

The immediate side effects of Codeine will vary from user to user and the amount taken. If the person takes the medication as prescribed, they may develop some mild signs. You should be concerned about a loved one who has been prescribed Codeine when they begin to develop more evident signs or you notice these signs for a prolonged period of time.

Some signs of Codeine use include:

  1. Small pupils
  2. Slowed down reactions
  3. Slurred speech
  4. Drowsiness, including falling nodding off or falling asleep at strange times, such as in the middle of a sentence
  5. Weight loss
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Finding multiple stashes of Codeine

Get Help with Addiction to Codeine and Other Drugs at The Detox Center of LA

Getting professional treatment for Codeine abuse or addiction is the most effective way to successfully stop use. The Detox Center of LA provides patients with comprehensive treatment programs through all levels of care. Beginning your journey to recovery in our medical detox program will help you go through Codeine withdrawals more easily and safely. Patients will comfortably detox in our non-hospital setting residences with around the clock medical care and monitoring. Our medical team is made up of doctors, nurses, and counselors who can administer medications to ease withdrawal symptoms while also providing much needed emotional support during the toughest part of the recovery process. Typically, most will detox from Codeine within 7 days, however psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety and insomnia may persist for months.

We also offer residential addiction treatment for those with moderate to severe substance use disorders. Inpatient rehab includes a highly structured and safe environment to allow full immersion into the recovery process. Every treatment plan is individualized and will include various individual and group therapy sessions to uncover and address the underlying causes of addiction. Clients also have the choice of outpatient treatment at The Detox Center of LA. Depending on your specialized treatment program, you may either start drug rehab in this type of setting or as a way to continue inpatient treatment.

Individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders can receive treatment simultaneously for these health issues through our programs. It is critical to address co-occurring disorders simultaneously along with substance abuse treatment to ensure long-term recovery.

If you or someone you love is struggling with Codeine addiction or any other substance use disorder, the time to get professional help is now. Recovery is possible through evidence-based, personalized treatment at The Detox Center of LA. If you would like more information about our treatment programs, please call us any time day or night at (888) 346-4350.


Contact Us

Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.