Inpatient Treatment for Codeine Addiction
Codeine is a prescription medication that is used to manage pain and as an antitussive or cough remedy. Using more codeine than prescribed, or taking the drug in non-prescribed ways, can lead to addiction. Inpatient recovery programs can help people with codeine addiction stop using and get their lives back on track.
What Is Codeine?
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Codeine is an opioid that is prescribed to help treat pain and suppress cough. Although there are legitimate therapeutic benefits of taking codeine, it is often diverted for abuse.
In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that approximately 3.8 million Americans had used prescription painkillers such as codeine for non-medical use in the last month. 7 Additionally, 53.7% of people who misused prescription painkillers got them from a friend or a relative, and 34% got them from a doctor’s prescription. 4
Even when codeine is used as intended, it can result in a number of unpleasant side effects. Some of these include:
- Stomach upset.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Difficulty urinating. 6
Some of the rare yet severe side effects can be quite uncomfortable and may even require emergency medical attention. These include:
- A severe allergic reaction, which involves a rash, itching, and hives. This may also cause difficulties in swallowing or breathing.
- Vision changes, such as wavy, distorted, or blurred eyesight.
- Changes to heart rate, such as a pounding, accelerated, or irregular pulse.
- Seizures. 6
Signs of Codeine Addiction
The abuse of prescription drugs such as codeine can place you or someone you love at risk of experiencing a number of health issues, and it may even be life-threatening. Recognizing the signs of addiction and getting treatment can save a life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44 people die every day in the United States from a prescription painkiller overdose. 1
People who are struggling with addiction may display a number of different behaviors and symptoms, including:
- Experiencing intense cravings for codeine.
- Becoming dependent on codeine and feeling that they need to continue using codeine to function normally.
- Developing a codeine tolerance such that they need to take more of the drug to achieve the desired effects or “high.”
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to stop using codeine abruptly or when they wean themselves off codeine over a period of time.
- Focusing on getting and using codeine – including spending an excessive amount of time thinking about how to get the drug.
- Making sure they have enough codeine at all times. Individuals may engage in risky behaviors such as stealing or lying to get more of the drug.
- Being unable to control use of codeine and using more than they meant to.
- Continuing to use codeine despite physical or mental harm.
Our staff can connect you with the help you need, whether that’s a list of nearby codeine rehabilitation facilities or just the contact information for a support group in your area.
People who are addicted to codeine and abruptly discontinue their use will likely experience withdrawal symptoms, such as: 3
- Muscle aches.
- Runny nose.
- Stomach cramping.
- Goose bumps.
Treatment for Withdrawal
A physician in an inpatient codeine recovery center may prescribe the following medications to you during withdrawal. These medications help make the process easier and allow you or your loved one to engage in treatment.
- Methadone – helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms and, in some cases, may be used as a long-term maintenance therapy for people with severe opioid dependence.
- Buprenorphine – helps to treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It may also be used for long-term maintenance, like methadone.
- Clonidine – helps to reduce anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, and cramping, though it does not help with cravings.
- Naltrexone – helps prevent relapse and is available in pill form or as an injection.
The physician will eventually taper you off these medications or maintain you on a maintenance dose, depending on the circumstances. Alternatively, the physician may gradually taper you off of codeine instead.
Types of Inpatient Programs
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Codeine addiction can be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Both offer vital services that can help a person who is trying to quit codeine. Inpatient treatment programs will often include:
- Medically supervised detox: You are monitored by a physician or another medical provider while going through withdrawal. The physician can prescribe medications and treat any complications that arise.
- Individual and group therapy: Therapy helps you or your loved one explore the reasons why you may have become addicted and teaches you techniques to prevent relapse.
- Aftercare planning: The staff help you arrange follow-up care after discharge to help you maintain long-term recovery.
Types of inpatient codeine programs include:
- Standard: Many standard programs provide detox, therapy, aftercare, and various recovery activities. People in these programs usually share rooms and eat meals together in a cafeteria.
- Luxury: Luxury codeine programs include the basic services of a standard inpatient or residential center with additional amenities such as swimming, yoga, or acupuncture. People in these programs often have their own private rooms and eat specially prepared meals. Because of the desirable settings, added privacy, and bonus amenities, luxury programs are often more expensive than standard programs.
- Executive or CEO: Executive programs are often similar to luxury residential programs. However, they include other amenities for working professionals. Facilities may include private meeting rooms and workspaces. These programs also cost more than standard programs.
Other Factors to Consider
Consider staff credentials, location, and the program’s philosophy.
Other things to think about when researching inpatient programs include:
- Staff credentials. Find out if the therapists are licensed and if the physicians have experience or certification in addiction medicine.
- Program philosophy. Different programs have different approaches to treatment, including 12-step, faith-based, and evidence-based. Pick a program whose philosophy you’re comfortable with.
- Location. Some people prefer to escape their home environment, which can be full of triggers and negative influences. Others prefer to have friends and family nearby to offer support during treatment.
- Dual diagnosis. If you or your loved one is struggling with any mental health conditions in addition to your addiction, make sure the treatment program can screen for and treat both issues.
Outpatient treatment allows you to continue working, studying, or taking care of other priorities such as child care while you go through treatment. Outpatient is generally less expensive than inpatient, and you come to the recovery center on certain days of the week for a few hours at a time.
Outpatient treatment types and approaches will vary, but may consist of:
- Intensive outpatient (IOP).
- Partial hospitalization (PHP).
- Group and individual substance abuse therapy and counseling.
Outpatient programs are often well-suited for less severe addictions and for those who are able to rely on a strong support system of family and friends. Unlike an inpatient or residential program, participation in an outpatient treatment program will not shield you from the stress of home life, nor place physical distance between you and potential triggers that can lead to relapse.
How to Pay for Treatment
If you are ready to enter treatment for your codeine addiction, there are a number of ways to cover the costs.
- Insurance: Many treatment centers will accept forms of insurance as payment. Most treatment centers take private insurance, and a smaller amount accept public insurance and Medicaid. Additionally, health insurance bought through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges or Medicaid include services for substance use disorders.
- Crowdfunding: Websites such as GoFundMe and IndieGoGo allow you to create a campaign to help raise funds for treatment. You can post the campaign on your Facebook page or email your friends and family to ask for donations.
- Loans from family or friends: Consider asking friends or family members to help you cover the cost of treatment. Addiction affects many people in a person’s life, and these people may be relieved to hear that you are seeking help.
- Financing: Many treatment centers offer financing options. Some centers work with third-party lenders to help you create a package that you can pay back once you are finished with treatment.
- Personal savings: Some people use their savings to finance their addiction treatment. You can speak to a financial advisor to decide on the best option for your situation.
- Sell assets: If you have an asset such as a car or a motorcycle, you can sell it to help cover the costs of treatment.
Sources of Support
Reaching out for help is a crucial early step toward recovery from drug abuse. Friends and family can be good resources for finding a codeine rehab and recovery facility that will be effective. You can tell them what you are looking for in a treatment center.
Together, you can create a list of desired qualities to help guide your process.
How to Talk to Someone With an Addiction
If your loved one needs help with their codeine addiction, it can be hard to know how to best support them.
If you would like to talk to someone prior to confronting your addicted loved one, you can receive professional guidance through a process called Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT). CRAFT involves meeting with a therapist to learn how to confront a loved one who is addicted to drugs. Through CRAFT, you will learn how to:
- Cope with the stress related to the person’s codeine use.
- Communicate effectively with the user.
- Avoid enabling behaviors that can be destructive.
Drug use and addiction can cause individuals to become extremely isolated. Your loved one may be hoping that you reach out to support and help them. Listen to his or her needs and stand by the person’s side as he or she decides whether or not to seek treatment for codeine addiction.
Get Help Today
If you or your loved one has been abusing prescription medications, call 1-888-319-2606 Who Answers? as soon as you can. You can speak to trained professionals who can help you find a codeine recovery program and break the cycle of addiction before it gets worse. Recovery facilities exist to help people pick up the pieces and begin a sober life.
. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2016). Understanding the Epidemic.
. Meyers, R. J., Smith, J. E., & Lash, D. N. (2005). A program for engaging treatment-refusing substance abusers into treatment: CRAFT. International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation Therapy, 1(2). 90-100.
. National Institutes of Health (NIH). (2016). Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.
. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51).
. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. (n.d.). Substance Abuse and the Affordable Care Act.
. National Library of Medicine. (2016). Codeine.
. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51).
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