Codeine The Most Widely Used Opiate
Because codeine is the most commonly used narcotic prescription drug throughout the world and highly abused it's important to understand what it is and just how dangerous it can be if misused and abused.
Codeine is an alkaloid (natural chemical) that comes from opium and is a prescription painkiller as well as cough suppressant. Most of the codeine that we find here in the United States is manufactured from morphine though. When producing narcotics like dihydrocodeine and hydrocodone codeine is the substance that is used to start the process.
There are two different uses for codeine in the medical field, for the treatment of mild to moderate pain and also to suppress coughs. Codeine is usually a better medical choice compared to morphine because it produces less analgesia, sedation and respiratory depression and most of the time is taken orally.
When codeine is taken alone it is classified as a schedule II drug and comes in tablet form. If codeine is combined with aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol with Codeine) it is then classified as a schedule III drug and administered in tablet form. When codeine is used as a cough suppressant it comes in a liquid form and is classified as a schedule V drug. Another way codeine is administered is through injection to treat pain.
Some of the medications that codeine is found in are:
- Robitussin AC
- Voltaren forte
- Actifed with codeine
- Oxa forte
- Empirin 3
- Tylenol 3
Codeine and products that contain codeine can be found in many other countries without the need of a prescription. Those who abuse codeine manage to find these products because taken in large doses or mixed with alcohol or other drugs they receive an intense high. Illegal online pharmacies are one way of getting codeine products as well as doctor shopping. Going from one doctor to another for multiple prescriptions is their way of obtaining codeine. As with most drugs of abuse, codeine can be found just about anywhere if an individual is looking to get high.
Flying High on Purple Drank
Mixing an antihistamine (Phenergan) with codeine is another way of abusing this prescription drug. Phenergan is used to treat allergies as well as motion sickness and when combined with codeine cough syrup it is used to obtain a serious high and has become quite popular. This type of codeine abuse was popular among the hip-hop crowd and athletic groups in the past. Many people are abusing codeine now as purple drank whenever they can find it. Sometimes this illegal drug combination is mixed with sprite and jolly ranchers and drank from a styrofoam cup.
This Purple Drank or Sizzurp as a lot of people are calling it. This is a very dangerous drink and also proved to be deadly. Rapper DJ Screw died from a codeine overdose in 2000 along with Rapper Pimp C in 2008. Watch this news report and then deicde whats more important Purple Drank or your life.
Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people abuse codeine and become dependent on it. Like any other substance that is used or abused for a prolonged period of time it's important to gradually stop using it but cutting the dose down. When codeine is abused for long periods of time then suddenly stopped, there are withdrawal symptoms an individual may go through. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cravings for codeine
- Spasms of the muscles
- Sinus problems such as runny nose
- Stomach cramps
Codeine Overdose Symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Skin may be clammy and cold
- Stomach or intestinal spasms
- Pupils are pin-point in size
- Muscle spasticity and twitches
- Slow, labored and shallow breathing
- Fingernails and lips are bluish in color
- Itchy skin
- Possible coma
- Weakened pulse
- Breathing may stop
- Low blood pressure
Codeine Addiction Treatment
Codeine abuse can lead to death but there are Substance Abuse Treatment Programs available for those in need of help.
Detoxification programs are available to help you safely go through codeine withdrawals and detox. Many times depending on the severity of codeine abuse it's very dangerous as well as uncomfortable while detoxing from prescription drugs.
When working toward recovery and sobriety, it's very important to have experienced and qualified therapists and counselors working with you. They understand not only what you're going through but how hard drug addiction is while working toward recovery. You will find that in a Drug Abuse Treatment Facility. It's sometimes next to impossible to work through emotional issues, family problems, and change the way we deal with stress and look at life while working toward recovery without outside help. Many people have found that trying to do this on their own without professional help; relapse was right around the corner.