Codeine Addiction Treatment in New Hampshire

While codeine misuse is hard to overcome, it’s not impossible with the right type of treatment.

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Codeine is a common painkiller often found in both over-the-counter and prescription medications.

But while many think of it as a harmless pain reliever, it has some serious addictive properties that can lead to dependence, cravings, and challenging withdrawal symptoms for those caught in its grip.

If you or a loved one is struggling with codeine addiction in New Hampshire, this guide is here to offer help.

In today’s article, we’ll explore the various aspects of codeine addiction, including the underlying mechanisms, withdrawal symptoms, and available treatment options to help you set foot on the path of recovery.

A Brief Overview of Codeine Abuse and Addiction

Codeine is a semi-synthetic opioid, commonly prescribed opioid analgesic. The drug is primarily prescribed to provide moderate pain relief, especially for post-surgical pain, dental procedures, or managing chronic pain conditions.

Additionally, codeine is a common ingredient in some cough syrups, including some over-the-counter options, due to its effective ability to suppress the cough reflex.

That being said, the drug belongs to the family of opiates, and despite being less potent than morphine, it still has some significant addictive properties.

Misusing the drug leads to substance use disorder, also known as opioid use disorder, in which the body experiences codeine withdrawal symptoms when you stop or reduce codeine use. These symptoms include:

  • General body aches with muscle twitches
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Disturbance in sleep patterns and insomnia despite drowsiness
  • Tremors and shakiness
  • Irritable behaviors due to discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation

The Effects of Codeine on the Brain

Codeine’s addictive potential stems from its interaction with the central nervous system. As a member of the opioid family, it binds to the various opioid receptors in the brain cells to cause its effects. These include:

  • Blocking the pain signals from various parts of the body to reach the brain.
  • Stimulate the release of dopamine, which is a natural brain chemical associated with feelings of pleasure and euphoria.

Over time, repeated codeine use leads to increased tolerance where the body adapts to the presence of the drug, so it requires higher doses to achieve the same level of initial effectiveness.

As the body becomes increasingly reliant on the use of codeine, it becomes much harder to stop the drug on your own due to the withdrawal symptoms associated with cessation.

As a result, this cycle of substance abuse quickly develops into serious drug addiction that requires professional treatment programs to address its dangers.

Is Codeine Addiction Common in New Hampshire?

Although drug abuse in New Hampshire is often associated with more potent opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone, codeine can also be a part of the problem.

Opioid addiction, regardless of its source, can lead to a serious risk of overdose, which can lead to fatal complications if not treated properly.

According to reports, opioids are becoming an epidemic in the state of New Hampshire and the primary cause of ER admissions and overdose deaths.

Since codeine isn’t as potent as other opioids, the risks of codeine misuse are significantly high, which makes it a gateway drug to stronger prescription opioids like oxycodone and even illicit ones like heroin.

Side Effects and Symptoms of Codeine Addiction

The continuous use of codeine can lead to a wide range of serious side effects, which can massively impact both physical and mental health.

These adverse reactions and symptoms often develop and increase in severity over time, which is why quick actions are necessary to address them.

Short-term Side Effects

  • Impairment in brain functions, which causes continuous drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion with impaired coordination and noticeable slurred speech.
  • Intense nausea with stomach pain, constipation, and dry mouth. Severe vomiting may occur at high doses.
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure) and bradycardia (low heart rate) due to reduction in brain activity
  • Skin rash and itching

Long-Term Side Effects

  • Muscle spasms and painful cramps
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (Pancreatitis) that leads to swelling and dangerous complications
  • Liver toxicity
  • Irreversible kidney damage
  • Potential reduction in fertility among both males and females
  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions
  • Isolation and withdrawal from society
  • Decline in relationships, work performance, and financial stability

Codeine Addiction Treatment Options

Treating codeine addiction usually follows the same pathway as treating other forms of opioid addiction.

However, the nature of the treatment can vary significantly from one individual to another, which requires a personalized treatment plan.

Medical Detox

Medical detoxification is the primary and essential first step in treating codeine addiction. The aim of this stage is to eliminate the effects of codeine and its metabolites from the body.

The problem with this stage is that sudden cessation of the drug can lead to life-threatening complications, so it must be done gradually under the supervision of medical professionals.

Doctors will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the severity of addiction, overall health, and any co-occurring mental health conditions. This assessment helps tailor the treatment plan to each individual’s specific needs.

The detoxification period can vary from several weeks to a few months, also depending on the severity of addiction.

Medication Assisted Treatment

Opioid addiction typically involves the use of certain medications that can ease the process and reduce the discomfort associated with drug withdrawal.

The most common medications used here are methadone and buprenorphine. These medications bind to opioid receptors in the brain to provide a controlled level of opioid activity and reduce cravings.

Inpatient Treatment

This is the most common type of detoxification treatment for codeine addiction.

It involves staying in a dedicated medical facility or addiction treatment center for the duration of detox to receive round-the-clock care and monitoring.

This is often recommended for individuals suffering from severe addiction, a history of relapses, and/or co-occurring medical or mental health problems that require special medical attention.

Inpatient treatment is often called “residential treatment”, and while both treatment methods have very similar structures, the latter typically offers a little more freedom in schedules.

This option is typically suitable for those with less severe addiction but still requires a structured environment for successful treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows individuals to detox while still residing in their homes. What separates it from home treatment is that patients still attend the facility daily for medication administration, group therapy sessions, and individual counseling.

While this type of treatment offers the highest level of flexibility and freedom to patients, they’re not suitable for everyone, as doctors will typically recommend them for individuals who suffer a fairly mild addiction along with a strong commitment to treatment and a supportive home environment

Individual Therapy

While medical detoxification is a critical step in the treatment of substance use disorder, it must be followed by therapy and support for a complete addiction treatment program.

Addiction often stems from deeper issues like trauma, mental health conditions, or unresolved emotional pain.

Individual therapy helps patients suffering from addiction explore these underlying factors to develop healthy coping mechanisms. This allows them to better manage stress, triggers, and cravings without resorting to codeine.

While individual therapy can take several approaches, the most reliable one is behavioral therapy, which includes various evidence-based approaches, such as:

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps individuals identify situations that trigger cravings and develop healthier responses and thought patterns instead of resorting to codeine use.

It’s the most widely established approach to addiction treatment, with various studies showing its effectiveness, according to the American Addiction Center.

Dialectical behavioral therapy is a subtype of CBT that puts more emphasis on emotional regulation and mindfulness to manage intense emotions, improve communication, and build healthy relationships for long-term recovery.

Group Therapy

Sharing stories and experiences in a non-judgmental environment allows individuals to feel understood and validated, which is immensely helpful in battling the isolation associated with addiction.

This is where support groups come into play, as it allows individuals to offer and receive support and encouragement to maintain their recovery and progress.

The sense of community created through these sessions can greatly boost the effectiveness of individual therapy.

Besides support groups, group therapy also includes family therapy sessions, which work on rebuilding the trust and broken relationships that addiction may cause or result from.

Sober Living Programs

These programs involve residing in structured, trigger-free environments to help individuals build their lives, manage triggers, and gradually transition back to independent living with a strong foundation for lasting well-being

Relapse Prevention Programs

These equip individuals with tools and strategies to overcome the challenges they might face after returning to their daily routines.

They can also involve additional methods to promote health and well-being, such as meditation, yoga, additional therapy, and exercise.

Finding the Best Treatment for Codeine Addiction in New Hampshire

While codeine misuse is hard to overcome, it’s not impossible with the right type of treatment. However, preparing a treatment plan with a qualified professional is essential for the success of the process and overcoming relapses.

If you’re seeking a trusted partner in the recovery journey, Live Free Recovery Services offers a comprehensive approach to treatment, combining evidence-based therapies with compassionate care for a lifelong drug-free life!

Published on: 2024-05-07
Updated on: 2024-05-12