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Codeine

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Codeine

codeine-iconCodeine is an opiate pain medication. It can be prescribed on its own or in combination with various other medications, such as Tylenol with Codeine.

It is used to treat mild to moderate pain and is also often prescribed for cough suppression. It is also sometimes prescribed as a muscle relaxant and to treat diarrhea. Prescribed dosages can vary greatly depending on what it is being used for.

Codeine is generally listed as a Schedule II narcotic, unless it is in a product that uses less than 90mg per dose, in which case it is Schedule III. It is listed as Schedule V if it is in a product that uses less than 200mg of it per 100g or 100ml. It is considered to have less addiction potential than the more powerful opiate painkillers such as oxycodone, but it is still a risk to cause physical dependency if misused.

Effects usually last for three to six hours. Some possible side effects include constipation, drowsiness and an itchy sensation. This medication is usually prescribed in a tablet or liquid form. Codeine addicts may crush and inject or smoke tablets, however. Death is possible from overdose due to respiratory depression.

Street Names 

Codeine by itself has a surprising lack of street names. It may be called “sticky” or “purple.” Street names come into play when it is mixed with promethazine (a motion sickness drug) and soda in a concoction called sizzurp, purple drank, sip-sip, Texas tea or rainbow. “T-3” may also be used to specifically refer to the Tylenol with Codeine brand.

Common Forms 

The drug is prescribed medically as a tablet or a liquid. The liquid form is usually used for cough suppression. The liquid form is what is used in illicit drinks, but the tablets are also commonly abused. Common brand names that this medication is sold under include Colrex, Phenflu CD and Calcidrine.

 Drug Class 

Codeine is an opioid pain reliever that is also used in cough suppression and to treat serious cases of diarrhea.

What is the DEA Schedule?

Codeine is a Schedule II drug on its own. It has significant potential for abuse and addiction, but is also a vital medication that is considered essential to any health system by the World Health Organization.

The drug schedule is lower in mixed products where the dosage of of this drug is below a certain threshold. For example, Tylenol with Codeine is listed as a Schedule III drug because it has less than 90mg of codeine per dose.

Common Forms of Use

This medication is nearly always taken orally. Prescription tablets and liquid can be abused on their own. As mentioned previously, it is very common for recreational users to mix liquid codeine into a drink to make it more palatable.

What are the General Effects?

Codeine relieves mild to moderate pain and is also very effective in relieving both coughs and diarrhea. As with all opiates, it can bring on a feeling of euphoria and well-being that can promote abuse, though this effect is less pronounced with codeine than it is with the more potent pain relievers.

Negative Short-Term Effects

The most common side effect of is a general feeling of physical sluggishness and slowed thought. Constipation is also common, as this drug acts on opioid receptors in the gut. Some less common side effects include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, itchy skin and difficulty urinating.

Negative Long-Term Effects

The most common negative health effects among long-term abusers are chronic sleep disorders and constipation. In more serious cases they have developed low blood pressure, tremors and seizures.

The Dangers of Use

Overdose is possible with, and coma or death due to respiratory depression can result. Codeine products that also contain acetaminophen can cause liver damage if too high of a dose is taken.

Drugs Codeine is Commonly Mixed With

Since codeine is one of the milder opiates, it may be mixed with a more potent one (such as oxycodone) in an attempt to increase the high.

This medication is also commonly mixed with other depressants, such as marijuana and alcohol. This increases the risk of dangerous respiratory depression if the doses are too high.

Abuse and Addiction Rates

Opiate painkillers (the group that codeine belongs to) represent about 6% of admissions to drug treatment programs each year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This likely means that not enough people are getting treatment, as about five million are expected to abuse prescription pain pills each year.

With enough prolonged exposure, an addiction to opiates can develop with codeine use. A common sign of opiate abuse is “doctor shopping”, or a suspicious amount of visits to different doctors in an attempt to secure multiple prescriptions for pills.

The Best Treatment for Codeine Addiction

As with addiction to the other opiates, codeine addiction can be very powerful. At minimum it requires an initial week or so of detox, and will likely require a period of inpatient treatment of at least 30 days. A certified medical treatment facility that offers inpatient treatment gives patient the best chance of beating an opiate addiction for good. For more information on overcoming Codeine dependence or how to find treatment, visit Codeine Rehab.

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