Codeine Addiction, Effects and Treatment

Codeine Addiction, Effects and Treatment

What is Codeine?

Codeine is a well-known prescription drug that is commonly known as Tylenol 3 in North America. Codeine falls into the category of opiates and is turned into morphine by the body in order to be utilized properly. Codeine is derived from the opium poppy and is related to morphine and heroin.

The purpose of Codeine is to relieve pain and anxiety. This drug, like other opiates, not only has the potential to depress breathing but can depress other body systems as well.

Side effects of codeine include:
  1. Dry mouth
  2. Itching
  3. Drowsiness
  4. Constipation
  5. Nausea and vomiting
  6. Orthostatic hypotension
  7. Urinary retention


Like any other drug, tolerance can result after consistent use of medication, this includes therapeutic effects. How quickly this occurs depends on the metabolism of the individual. In addition, the different side effects tolerance may develop at different rates. As with other opiates, a serious probable adverse reaction is respiratory depression.

Another very common side effect is decreased libido (lack of sexual drive). Codeine is known to interact negatively with certain psychiatric medications, so prior to administration it is advisable to check with a physician. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to codeine, which has been known to cause swelling of skin and rashes.

The Easy to Find Drug

Recreational use of codeine occurs often mainly because it is very easy to obtain. Codeine can be obtained either over the counter in low doses or through prescription combination drugs. Reasons for using Codeine include experiencing the euphoric effects associated with opiates.

It is common practice for individuals wishing to obtain a high to drink cough syrup straight or by taking a combination of pills whole or crushed mixed with water as this allows faster absorption into the body. Codeine can also be extracted by using methods such as cod water extraction.

The dosage at which codeine is safe is from 10-60mg at once. However, when Codeine is used recreationally it is between 60mg to 400 mg in one shot. If an individual uses more than 400 mg in one shot, it exceeds the amount of drug the liver can metabolize at once which means that it will be wasted.

In order to get the full effect of the drug, it is recommended to take Codeine all in one dose as opposed to taking it gradually over a long period of time. Codeine can be taken orally, rectally (via the anus) and can be given as a shot. It should never, however, be snorted, smoked or injected intravenously.

Using Codeine recreationally is dangerous on many different levels. Some of the more dangerous side effects include the following:

  1. Misuse can and will lead to: dulling type effect, a lack of co-ordination and dulled responses.
  2. Dependence: this can occur within two to three weeks of use and can lead to both physiological and psychological addiction.
  3. Respiratory depression: improper doses of Codeine can lead to an individual ceasing breathing.
  4. Combination of acetaminophen with codeine can lead to hepatotoxicity or liver damage.
  5. Combination of codeine with ibuprofen can cause kidney problems and even lead to kidney failure.
  6. Combination of aspirin and codeine can lead to internal hemorrhaging, particularly bleeding of the stomach.


There are some countries where cough syrups and tablets that contain codeine are available without prescription. It has been reported that in France approximately ninety five percent of the consumption of Codeine cough medication is attributed to non-medical use. In fact, it is common for individuals trying to reduce the effects of withdrawal by using Codeine.

Treatment for Codeine Addiction

Like any other opioid addiction, treatment should be immediate. Addiction to Codeine encompasses more than just the drug addiction. If an individual is addicted to Codeine, there is most likely a physical and psychological dependence involved as well. If a friend or loved one is displaying odd behavior and codeine addiction is suspected, intervention is recommended. Otherwise as noted above, many different body systems can be affected and in severe cases Codeine addiction could even lead to death. There are many available and effective treatment programs that can address this serious problem.


  1. Schroeder K, Fahey T (2001). "Over-the-counter medications for acute cough in children and adults in ambulatory settings.". Cochrane Database Syst Rev:
  2. Headache Triggers: Caffeine. WebMD (June 2004). Retrieved on 2007-09-15.
  3. Vree TB, van Dongen RT, Koopman-Kimenai PM (2000). "Codeine analgesia is due to codeine-6-glucuronide, not morphine". Int. J. Clin. Pract. 54 (6): 395-8.
  4. Srinivasan V, Wielbo D, Tebbett IR (1997). "Analgesic effects of codeine-6-glucuronide after intravenous administration". European journal of pain (London, England) 1 (3): 185-90.
  5. Hogshire, Jim (June 1999). Pills-A-Go-Go: A Fiendish Investigation into Pill Marketing, Art, History & Consumption. Los Angeles: Feral House, 216-223.

Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    Codeine is good but bad

    • Addict

      i believe codiene is a good drug but depends on how being prescribed, i became really ill in hospital and i am so grateful for the usage of this codiene relfied my pain extremely. but i do think the drug should be more watched at how it is issued in some cases.

      • Addict

        When used properly, Codeine is a wonderful drug! I use Robitussin and Codeine to relieve my cough! It actually works better than any OTC cough medicine. I never suffered any of the side effects other than drowsiness, which is really good at night so I don't keep myself or my family members up.

    • Addict

      I have to admit when I'm not on the stuff I do feel better then off it and I was just wondering if it causes heart problems?

    • Addict

      I just recently got off tylenol 1 live in canada but i guess by reading they are 222's. Last wed was my last of the pills i mean i was taking 10 at at time some times up to 40-50 if not more a day. I was so depressed and moody and i just didnt know why. Anyway i have been perscribed trazadone 50 then again they upped it to 100 mg and this is previous to quitting tylenol 1 and it puts me out big time at night. I also was prescribed clonidine and its really awesome for withdrawls and i mean awesome. I had flu like symptoms but it was great for the the sweats and urges to use. I now am just happy and i am on top of the world i am very glad i got away from these after 16 years and trust me its a great feeling. ony 7th day and nothing just more energy. i do have alot of energy to much at times but its great. lots of water 5 cups a day clears you completly. Good Luck and about 4-5 days you are normal i was.

  2. Addict

    My Mother has been prescribed codein for over 5 years on a repeat prescription which I was unaware of, she has alzeimers and having 120 delivered at atime via the chemist it should be banned I dont think she will ever gt better last year cruising the world on her todd this year almost house bound

    • Addict


      It's not really fair to blame the codeine for your mother being housebound.... that's kinda part and parcel with Alzeimers.

      However Codeine is a pain medication.. and Alzeimer's isn't pain based (generally), should you really be letting her take them. Seek a second opinion.

  3. Addict

    I've indulged with the improper use of tussilar (cough suppressant) taking 40 tablets at a time for recreational purposes. it was fun.

  4. Addict

    try tussilar for recreational purposes. take at least 20 tablets for first timers and you're good to go. better be in a safe place though before doing it.

    • Addict

      Logs - you shouldnt promote recreational drug use. it is unsafe and irresponsible. too bad if someone does what you suggested and dies. what you do in your own time is our business, but do not encourage others to follow your unsafe and unhealthy lifestyle.

  5. Addict

    im a mum of 5kida who i love so much,i got addicted because i had a bad back and i love the pain free feeling,but i cant get off of them,i want help,im only 33 and my mum died the same way,i want 2 be my old self again,id do anything never 2 put unother pill in my mouth,iv told my family,but when i dont take them my body hurts,i feel sick,i get tired,i go into major depression,i hate this feeling,i want my old self back,can anybody help me become the bubbly person i use 2 be

    • Addict

      mandy h itsur big sis im hoping ive left u a message but its not showing its gone this isnt r address its t and c,s let me no of u get it i hope ur ok today im thinking of u all the time xxxx

    • Addict

      Hi, Mandy H,

      I was also a codeine addict and have now been clean for over 2 yrs and i know of many other people who have suceeded in taking their lives back, there is a way out. You sound like a wonderful person stuck in a very difficult situation, i know it is often a big step to take in finding a proper rehabilitation centre that can help you, both with the physical addiction and wiht the emotional aspects of what you are going through, but the benefits outweigh the fear and sacrifices any day and i would suggest that you consider this. I also went through many difficult times facing this thing, but i would not trade the life i have today for codeine and i know no matter how though it gets, it's worth it in the end. Never give up.

      God bless you and your familiy, and may He walk you out the other end of this.

      • Addict

        You must have really been using it to become addicted. I once got too friendly with DXM when I was 12, [now 17]. I didn't get "addicted" because DXM isn't addictive, but I got too use to using it. Sort of like too much computer or TV use, [obviously worse]. This went on for months until I finally took my pills and flushed them once I heard that it affects the central nervous system which can lead to death. I will never abuse anything again.

  6. Addict

    mandy h its ur big sis here i will do watever i can to help u get off this i dont like seeing u go through wat mum did and i dont want to loose u the same way either. ur a super mum but try to please everyone all the time like mum.its time u asked everyone else for help and get the right kind of help ive been reading up on this so i can help understand how ur feeling.i want you to stick with it and take people up on there offers of help with the kids or being there for u to talk to time and time again. i will never tire of u needing a shoulder to cry on. im determined to be there for u as i wish i could have done more for mum. we were too young to really understand wat she was going through and there were more underlying problems than u have. u have a wonderful partner who adores u and the kids idolise u even when ur low or shouting with stress. and im ur best friend and your mine, always have been and always will be. i want the old bubbly sister back too i dont like to see u so down. please take all the help ur offered to cut these pills out altogether take small steps to get urself better. u need to get ur body healthy again as its too scary to think of the long term damage. i love u with all my heart . please neve think twice to ask for support i will do all i physically can to help u get better. xxxxxxxxx

    • Addict

      Hi Mandy unlike the family support your sis is giving you I am on my own with 2 prescription drug addiction codine and diazepam I use d h c's pure code 1tablet is 30mil codine I use 40 off they tablets in one go 4/5 times a week when I can afford also buy them proves difficult my partner ( she ) does have knowledge a use just does not know intake they started off given by my doc for Citica in my back diazepam was 1times 5mil a night to help me relax my doctor soon realised I was overdoing my pills repeating them early 'ie excuses holiday lost them loads excuses I told him I needed them and life without them at this point prescribed 8 a day 2 tabs x 4 hourly a half came clean to doc he decide to give me prescription daily pick up also reduce them over 6 weeks was prescribed 2 a day this was for me human torture could not sit still,sleep eat move did sit or lie down but very restless adgitated cramps on legs tummy worse the runs sickness the horror off my reply 4 yrs on still popping when and as many as I can afford the diazepam are off back street since been told they are not real medication contents have everything but Valium as known on street I buy 200 over a week take 60/70 over 1 night I am now homeless single jobless since November live with different friends and relations every week my periods are irregular when they stop I suffer more reddish brown bloodish like period for weeks at time I rarley not eat 'wash sleep crazy hrs have to go on streets beg steal or sell my bit off self I have left I am complete opposite person sorry meant to mention am 29 no kids I now look at this think it stares back to me at mirror tummy bloated look 5 months gone I keep saying I will try rehab am to scared to tell family really how bad pain bleeding and existing bit off life has got I now have decided to go tell somebody a friend about my state off health terrified am riddled with cancer or organs slowly giving up I know people reading this thing go get help I have tried I think I need locked up key threw away a have tried and failed several times I cut down codine replace them with over counter pain relief that really does not help I am going to try again as excisting and living this life can't go on I was a successful female o'c'd in house now I have and are nothing I hope you take all support and help offerd I wanted to reply let you read and realise it only gets worse and like all addictions it takes off you bit by bit until your left with clothes that you have lived in for days so please take this horrendous and I know self'inflicted addiction I have and day by day take it easy go to help centres and I belive you will succeed always be addict but an x one I hope for yourself kids and family members who will stand by you mines don't contact ask about me a moved far away as I could not let them suffer within themselves seeing me and hearing how bad I look I also can't punish myself mentally anymore than I am doing so wot there eyes don't see there heart won't grieve apologise for spelling errors I am in a friend off a friend they are doing wot is normal in bed for work I get to come sit way her 1maybee twice a month so I went on there home computer googled my menstrul problems and the codine/Valium two some reason came apron your mail to doctor or councillor on here and found myself warning you that if you don't seek and take help and advice this is were you will end up addictions are not religious or chooses certain individuals takes off any sort off living 'or excisting addict until either u sought help or no stop until you have like me nothing no dignity no meaning to any one and youreslf in that or worse for some but from were I am death seems peace for family then I have to grab my inch off pride try again and remind myself if I do one day get proper help and detox I will hopefully 1 day be known like any other family members I have so all say good night take care also last think I read this back to myself and I don't know wot it is but I somehow got something small to take from my shitty life grasp it and try slowly build and grow my life again ps I might have access some day or should I say night to a computer with data or pop into my near by library in few months or when I can read your success and maybe also have some to tell you and your sis myself well farewell guys the time you read all this I hope your not to depressed and sorry if I have offended or not put my shitty life story way people with common sense type and spell oh well I have excuse got neither off any they 2 just bit off quality going on about a thing until I mental can't do it any more not got Facebook as no mobile or access myself to Internet a will hopefully comment someday bye thanks for reading hope even 1 person takes even tiny bit from my essay all call it and feel better and take warning before you become me plz plz take any advice you gather anywhere on drugs any 1s and stay clear away bye bye x

      • Addict

        I know this is an old post but I just wanted to say thank you to you if by some chance you ever come back to see it. Your words have reminded me that the peace I may feel in the short term from prescription drugs meant for other purposes, isn't worth the long term hell I would likely face by taking them to feel that peace. I hope you are well, as I hope the original poster and her sister are too.

  7. Addict

    Hi, I don't expect to get an answer, I have been addicted to this nasty drug for 10 years, it has got such a grip, that I cant hide it from my loved ones any longer. I drink with the codiene and I know if I keep it up, I will die, I am in my thirties and ironically a gym goer! I have promised my partner that I will seek help. I am too embarrassed to go to a local help group. Please could someone just give me some advice as to how to get clean, I have gone through the cold process countless times, I am currently on just day one, I intend to get through this, I just need a little independant support... I hope someone reads this

    • Addict

      Hi, someone did read this and although I don't really know much about the drug or what your going through with the addiction, I just wanted to support you in getting clean, even if it is in spirit over the internet. I knew someone who went through something similar, and although it will be hard, the benefits definitely outweigh the burden of addiction. I know I didn't really offer any advice on how you could do this, but I just wanted you to know that you're not alone and that there are many others going through the same problem as you are. I do hope you are able to overcome this and know that there's a someone on the other side of the internet rooting for you :) Never give up.

    • Addict

      Hi I am a seventh grader attending RMS in Washington doing a drug project and codeine is one of them one way to stop is by start to use less and less week by week take a regular serving and the next week try and take one less serving and keep on taking one more serving out of each week then find a food like candy that could replace your codeine use.

  8. Addict

    I took 17 Panadine Forte for 1 year and now my heart is saw and the Dr tells me i will be ok but im scared please help im desperate

  9. Addict

    That's an interesting post. It was worth visiting your blog. Hope to visit again.

  10. Addict

    My wife is addicted to this crap and it is destroying her and our marriage. I just happened to answer the phone yesterday when the doctor's office called to tell my wife that the cough syrup that she lost during her holiday travel out of town (a totally bogus story - we didn't travel anywhere) had been refilled and was ready to pick up. I told them the story was a lie and that she is an addict, so they canceled the prescription. It probably means that my wife will find another doctor or order the crap from Mexico, which she has done in the past at a cost of thousands over time... She is adamant that she doesn't have an addiction. Sheer madness.

    • Addict

      I have just lost my relationship with partner to this. He says there is no problem. but it made him lie, sneak around and made me feel like I was going mad. He once opened up and admitted it all, he tried to give it up and seemed to do so well for a while, until I realized this was because he was back on it. He used to send me to the chemist for him (more fool me) to get the over the counter ones, once he could no longer get them from the doctor. I was naive to the problem until he started to freak if we went away and forgot his painkillers and the end of last year when he flipped as we did not have enough for over Christmas. He then opened up and tried to give it all up but once I moved out to give us space (and got fed up of finding meth bottles and empty packets of over the counter tablets everywhere) he started again. He put this in front of us and what we had. I tried everything to help him but he has pushed me away because its more important then anything to him. How do I get him to see sense?

    • Addict

      Hi I hear my husband is addicted..we should talk!

  11. Addict

    Hi everyone....Well, I am addicted to pain pills. Any that I can get my hands on. I actually just filled a script for Tylenol with codeine because it is the only thing I can get. I don't want to take pills anymore but the depression I get when I am off of them is AWFUL. The pills give me energy and it takes away my depression and anxiety. I don't have any physical symptoms when I am withdrawing. I have read some of your stories and for those of you who have not taking these pills before, PLEASE DON'T! I wish I was never introduced to pain pills. I do have a kidney disease and in the future I am going to need pain pills and they might not work for me then because I have such a high tolerance. I kept this from so many people for so long and now I don't want to hide anymore. I do need help but I am not sure how to get the help I need. Any advice would be great!

  12. Addict

    My mother gave me codeine as a child for pain relief, I am 43 now and have a addiction of 100 per day.

    I go to AA and have been sober for 14 years, However codeine still eludes me.

    I have tried so many things it's not funny, However i will admit i haven't given it my very best shot at times, mostly because i do not know how to live with out something.

    I also gave up smoking 50 cigarettes a day 12 years ago.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    sometimes the penny drops, but as yet not with codeine


    • Addict

      hi two weeks ago my brother died age 28 he would take an average of 100 codeine most days plus other pills that would space him out the long time usage caused him to have a blood clot on his lung he went t bed never to awake please every one please be careful.

  13. Addict

    had my tonsils and adenoids out last week i'm in a lot of pain, without codeine i wouldn't be able to eat or drink

  14. Addict

    Well, i'm 25, been hooked on codeine for four years. Currently on day four of cold turkey and it is killing me. Physically and psychologically!!! I get so agitated without them, so sore, so withdrawn. Life, reality without the buzz scares me to death. But if I don't get clean it will wreck my young family and I will let down my 8 week old son. I will take 30 30/500mg tablets a day. If not, I will go to the pharmacy and buy weak ones. It has got so bad that the pharmacies in my local area wont sell to me so I have to travel to town to get some. I always hide it from my fiance, it makes me lie, sneaky, deceitful and generally wrong. But when I am on em I get so loved up and fear nothing. The fear of dying young scares me. Need to get off them. Your stories I can relate to them all and I am willing to exchange support, because sometimes, only those that have been...understand! Good luck to all trying to get clean. Keep the faith!!! For those who haven't think about trying! And those that never have, please don't. It is more addictive than smoking! Best wishes :-) <3

    • Addict

      Well you've done the first step to recovery and that's admitting u have a problem I've suffered years and years of sneaking around and lying to the ones I loved the most and the best thing I did was seek out help and I found it through methadone program I've been on methadone for 2 years now and am almost done weening myself off and it works for the depression I went through without opiates the physical aspects everything I would not be here today, clean without it there are other programs out there like methadone check it out it could help u to get your life back, the one u deserve to have and enjoy

  15. Addict

    Codeine can really relieve pain and anxiety, I'm just aware of those side effects of it. But i'm sure that this is effective. Good post. Thanks for sharing

  16. Addict

    Codeine is an opiate prescribed for pain relief, especially for numbing back pain. According to the World Health Organization, it is likely the most commonly used drug overall. While codeine can be extracted from opium, it is usually synthesized from morphine. It can be used to treat diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, and is found in many over-the-counter drugs, including:
    Tylenol with codeine
    Nurofen Plus
    Prescription and over-the-counter codeine cough syrups
    Codeine can be ingested in pill or liquid form, injected subcutaneously or intra-muscularly, or smoked as an additive to marijuana. It binds to receptors in the central nervous system that typically bind with the bodyâs own physiological opioids such as endorphins and enekphalins. Codeine is frequently abused because in high doses, it can provide feelings of euphoria. However, it has much less abuse potential than some other opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

  17. Addict

    I'm 24 been addicted to codeine for 3years, I started taking it for back pain and carried on after to block out emotional distress in my opinion this drug should be banned it ruins and takes away your identity, iv been clean since Thursday I will not lie and say its easy but so worth it, for the pain now is unbearable but in the long run its nothing because being addicted to these will only lead to death, doctors need to stop being so lenient giving this drug out, I simply told them I had back ache and they've free willingly prescribed them 3years without a follow up appointment! This drug should be made illegal, I hope if your reading this and are still taking codeine you re-think is it worth losing who yo or possibly your family and potentially your life?

  18. Addict

    I'm taking 6-8 Panadine forte a day for 6 months now for severe back knee shoulder arthritis pain can it kill my kidneys . as I'm having worse pain now than ever .

  19. Addict

    I have a family member that is addicted to this drug, He gets it easily and now seems to be on it every day to some extent. He denies taking the drug and hides the pills. He mixes the drug with mariranah and maybe a beer or two. My concern amongst others is he is losing his voice, it breaks up when he speaks is this normal?

    • Addict

      codeine gives you a slurred speech..............don't worry ... he won't lose his voice ... i've been using codeine for two years..... i would admit that i like how my voice sounded when i drink it.... but it is still not safe... i quit three weeks now and it is very very very hard .... and i would also admit that i miss it very very very much.... i used it for pain because of a knee injury , stress on the job , insomnia , headaches , CODEINE helped me deal with all this, but i didn't like what i was becoming or should i say what i became...... guess this is how it feels when you get dependent on something....

  20. Addict

    I've been increasingly taking over-the-counter acetaminophen with codeine for about two weeks. I'm up to two doses per day, of 14 pills per dose. I've already started feeling the effects of not having it in my body by mid/late afternoon/early evening so this is when I take the second dose. I've read all the above posts and although I've always known it can be addictive, now I'm getting pretty scared of the habit I'm developing and need to nip it in the bud before it gets totally out of control. I'm afraid of the withdrawal symptoms yet I don't know just how bad they will be and for how long they will go on, since I've only been abusing it for a couple of weeks. Can anyone enlighten me? Does anyone know if I can try "weaning" myself off it by gradually decreasing each dosage over the next number of days?

  21. Addict

    I am a 17 year old girl, who unfortunately began taking these because of the pain from my braces. Now that I've had my braces off, I find any excuse to be able to have some of these tablets. If I could go back now, I would never have begun taking these in the first place; both of my parents know that I'm addicted because I finally after gaining enough courage was able to explain to them that I have become dependent on them. I can't take normal paracetamol now, because they do no difference to what pain is concerned, because my body must have worked up a barrier. I know mentally that I have to stop taking them, but mentally I need them. I know it may sound deluded, but whoever else is addicted to these would probably know where I'm coming from. Codeine is such a nasty prescription drug, that I can't describe my hatred for it, but I love it all the same.

    • Addict

      I'm in the same boat too. I have to take 1 gram - 1.2 grams to get high from it now and it's bloody painful when I go 2 days without it. God, I hate this pain.

  22. Addict

    This is the first site I have come across that takes codeine addiction seriously. Here in the UK my doctor was only concerned if I was taking more than the recommended amounts of paracetamol (Tylenol). I am currently, once again, in the process of giving up (5 days!). You have to get to a point where the side effects out way the benefits plus get your doctor to put you on cbt and a plan to reduce the codeine dependency with codeine pills (no Tylenol). This does work. Good luck.

  23. Addict

    I read about people having codein and painkiller addiction of 5 years and less, but I have used approximately 40mg of codeine on a daily basis for over 20 years now. Most often combined with either paracetamol or some other medical drug. I started having constant pain and discomfort in my legs recently. Can anyone tell me if taking approximately 4 painkillers on a daily basis for two decades is truly harmful or can the body cope with that?

  24. Addict

    Unfortunately I have required various painkillers most of my adult life and codeine has been just one of them for the last 15 years, for which I have had a 30/500 prescription of "co-codamol". I agree with several people here-I think codeine should be reserved for hospital pain relief only-it is such a powerful drug and has hooked so many innocent people-there are so many non-opiate based pain solution medications, but regular hard working professionals constantly seem to be finding themselves being treated like "drug addicts" every time they try to buy anything with a "P" controlled status from their pharmacy.

    • Addict

      Hi I'm the same as you but a lot worse I started on 30\ 500 co codamol 6 years ago after a painful operation now I can take 24 codeine 30 mg when I can get them off my friend and 18 tramadol which I have a regular prescription for 50 mg and we are all the same when I came off my cocodamol I was in hospital 12 weeks ago and they changed them to tramadol so I didn't have any withdrawals because they are an opiate I think but I keep getting them off my friend like I said I had to withdraw though 2 year ago when I kept putting in my prescription for renewal when the receptionist said to me you only handed this in this week she said didn't you get it so she assumed it had been lost and I was deceitful and went along with her and got a prescription signed there by the doc as she thought they had lost it and were going out of their way to do a good job and be helpful so off I went and dropped in next day and asked at desk if my inhalers were ready on repeat and she looked in box and there it was my inhalers and tucked in middle were my cocodamol as they usually were because I always worked it out that I put something else in with it thinking it wouldn't look as suspicious when I came out of there I felt like ide won the lottery. I was so happy and excited couldn't wait to get home to take 8 with a hot coffee I can't explain the feeling I'm so scared to go through all that again I felt like I had the worst flu ever struggled to get out of bed the sweat was dripping off me and the pain cramps in my abdomen were shockingly painful not to mention spellings are a bit wrong start again the depression was awful felt like I was so lost without my cocodamol I wasn't happy and didn't want to do anything it was awful well the next week I handed script in and guess what no cocodamol they looked in to it and realized I must of got 2 or checked on the screen thing and realized how often I were getting them but I said I had to see doctor and next day I was sweating and went to see him and he said I was getting far too many in such little time he couldn't give me any more and I was so embarrassed he knew I was addicted really . so I just said oh right I just kept putting it in thought I had to do it every week and walked out devastated and it took me 3 weeks to feel normal again it was great I felt good happy and not reliant on those stupid things oh no but guess what was in bad pain and had sum ovarian cysts about 9 months later and what did I get from hospital after op co codamol I really didn't want to take them but I was in so much pain I had to and when I took 2 I was high as a kite it was lovely again and that was it hooked again although before I took them I was thinking strong I won't let that codeine demon get me again but he did and like I said I was in hospital 12 weeks ago with shocking pain and I have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and it was most probably the pills and the drink because I liked a glass of wine and I still could stand after a full bottle and the pills but now I can never have another drink again as they said it would kill me my sugar level is all to pot I haven't touched a drop since and the last drink I had was on 1st may I feel proud at not drinking because addictions are hard to quit and I loved a drink I'm not a wino I'm a very respectable lady in my 40s and I find it hard to accept I do this pill addiction I feel so much better been able to tell you all my story and I enjoyed reading everyone's story I don't feel as alone now but I know I will soon have to boot away that demon again and I feel scared to do it again I am not looking forward to it.

  25. Addict

    Hi Tina (Feb 29 post) you aren't alone - I have also taken similar level of pain relief to you for a similar length of time. I cannot find out anywhere if what I am doing is damaging me long term, however the quality of life I am getting by relief from pain is worth much more than focusing on any long range timelines-things happen as they do and we should enjoy them if we can, while we can.

  26. Addict

    I just want to let you know that I am a recovering codeine addict. I know exactly what you went through and I really could not cope with life without a dose, the pain and the emptiness depression was too unbearable, to the point I just had to take them to stop me from being suicidal and I made a few attempts at OD and rushed to hospital...I was mentally unstable. One day my sister invited me to church and I gave my life to Christ, it wasn't easy, but the new found company of the holy spirit gave me that strength, love courage and determination to get through it - not to mention the peace I found which filled up all the emptiness I had away from the codeine dosage - can't explain but just some kind amazing transformation takes place on the inside and I know it was GOD hearing my cries for help and saving me from death....I cried uncontrollably when I was touched by the holy spirit like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulder and I was like a caged bird set free - I truly believe it was GOD saying to me, you've suffered enough, you don't have to suffer 4 years later, I am no longer an addict, I no longer have any sickness or mental instability or illnesses, and I truly believe that Jesus is a healer, as I have a new chance at life, I am healthy happy and well and lead a happy successful life with no painkillers or antidepressants but I couldn't have done it alone - it was too hard, I was a mess...I'm not asking you to believe me, I'm asking you to try it for yourself. You can't do this on your own - it's too painful, too difficult and beyond your control...find a good church and praying community that will support you, and you must personally look to seeking that relationship with GOD that will help to put all those broken pieces back together. I truly am a broken mess put back together, it's a miracle I am still alive!!! but I believe I had to go through it so I could understand what you're going through and be a blessing to someone else going through the same are sincerely in my prayers I will be praying for you and I really believe that GOD has the power to heal you and deliver you from this horrible life-scarring drugs. I am a living testimony of this!!! :) have courage, have faith and put it in GODs hands - he will help you :)

  27. Addict

    Hi, I find codeine really helpful. I get stressed and anxious at times. I find that codeine really relaxes me and assists in a positive way, relaxes my mind and makes me feel good, so affecting my thoughts positively. I occasionally use it. I think there is a time and place for codeine. Its an opiate, derived from the opium poppy. Different cultures use opium to relax. I like drugs I think they can act in a positive way when used correctly. Thank you Mr poppy.

    • Addict

      Lol Thank you Mr. Poppy, I shouldn't laugh but at the moment you occasionally use. If you ever get strung out you'll be cursing Mr. Poppy, its agony when you 'need' it.

  28. Addict

    Nice post.Its so interesting.So I want some information for sharing this site with some of my friends.

  29. Addict

    I have only been taking codeine 3 weeks am definitely reliant on it only took small dosage 10 20 mgs prior to that was only taking 2 mg of Valium which I was finally sleeping on came to visit family and my routine was thrown off had pain so took codeine now life is pure hell maybe because of my weight it was too much for me I weigh 46 kg now I can't eat much again have severe depression I did have depression before but I was coping OK with it and anxiety now it has worsened to the extent I am so lethargic feel I want codeine and cannot sleep at all without it but on it sleep one two hours then wake am talking to myself feel jittery etc. It's been pure hell I've only just got some life back after Valium affected me I feel like I'm dying but its slow I suddenly have no interest in anything again where I was beginning to find interest stay away from this drug my daughter able to get it as work at chemist she doesn't seem to become addicted to prescription meds at all. I can take them or leave them why are some people so unlucky I've also lost weight since taking them I had to fight for years to put on 8 kgs. and was definitely feeling better till taking this horrid drug last night went to bed tried not to take one and just couldn't do without it due to lack of sleep please doctors ban it altogether anything potentially addictive should be banned.

  30. Addict

    After years of 120mg of codeine per day I have been off it for 2 weeks. I live in France and was able to buy it in the chemists. I never tapered down; I knew that would never work so I just stopped taking it. I have seen on different forums that it is recommended to take time off work to do this but I did the complete opposite. Knowing that I had to go to work and didn't have any choice spurred me on. The irritable feet and hands and not being able to sleep well at night were probably the worst symptoms. No matter how knackered I was I couldn't sleep well or longer than 3/4 hours at a time. I felt irritable but a good idea is to keep your mind busy. Never sit around without something to do, it only gives you time to think about how difficult cold turkey is going to be. I must admit that I thought that I was going to have cold sweats and shaking hands but that never happened, although the sleep deprivation was really depressing. I feel a lot better now and know that I'm not at the end of the tunnel but at least I can see the light. This medication is as bad as any other illegal drug. IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL TO SELL THIS WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION. For anyone who is feeling embarrassed or guilty, DONT BE, they have made it far too easy to become addicted. OK, at the base of all this, we are taking this drug and are addicted because probably we have psychological hang-ups, we probably all started out having some kind of pain or other and just carried on taking it because it does make us feel good. BUT, yes we can die from abuse, and for years, I was a completely different person. My whole personality changed. I was full of energy most of the time and very outgoing. As soon as it wore off I'd take some more. Now I'm feeling aches and pains that were masked by the codeine. I'm scared that if ever I have to be hospitalized and need pain medication, I'm not going to react to it because I've become tolerant. I'm looking forward to losing weight, I became so bloated. I have to resist the urge to take codeine when I have bad headaches, probably a symptom of coming off the codeine. Anybody out there addicted, you will all find an excuse, a pain here and there to take more, BUT the benefits long-term of stopping are so worth it. I am very weak willed but I managed it so anyone can. The first week is now a blur, I used sleeping pills the first weekend without codeine to try and sleep through cold turkey. That helped a bit but it was not quality sleep. SEEK HELP AND DON'T BE ASHAMED. There are more people out there that are addicted than you would be believe. Be strong and have faith. Fix a goal ahead of you and think of that when it gets tough. I still have codoliprane in the house just to prove how determined I am to keep off it. I believe that I would have to be absolutely dying before I would even consider taking it again, in fact I may as well be. I don't know what damage I have done to my body; I am asking my Doc this week to check my liver. Whatever, it's too late now. These forums are great to share these problems. Good luck everyone, and I hope that even 1 person is as lucky as I have been to STOP!!!

  31. Addict

    I have been an addict of codeine for a year now.. I normally take it because I use it to sleep at night and without codeine I can't sleep.

  32. Addict

    I have been taking Tylenol with codeine for a little over a month, and I'm already feeling dependent on it. I've had back pain for several years (I have three vertebrae out of place, but the doctors will not do anything about it - they just threw me on some pain meds and told me I was good to go). I refused to take them for months, but now that I have a new job that requires being on my feet all day, I started again because the pain became unbearable.

    Not only am I dealing with this new job, but many other changes have been going on. I just moved out of my stepfather's house (he was the only one I had, everyone else has passed away), moved to a new city, got that new job (which I absolutely hate), and have stopped taking my anxiety/depression medications (they started to make me vomit). Now I feel alone while I am facing 'adult' matters for the first time. It's been rough.

    I discovered that the pain meds relieved my back pain...and also helped me deal with the stress by...well, not having to deal with it at all. Helps me cope. Helps me sleep. At first I'd just take them when I got home from a long day at work for the pain. Then it was on my off days for recreation. Now I'm taking them before and during work hours to make my job more tolerable (like I said, I hate it - I feel as if I need the high just to make it through the day. Not just at work, but just to deal with...everything).

    I was thinking about flushing the last few down the toilet, but I can't. Just the thought made me start shaking. Now I'm leaning towards the opposite end of the spectrum - I want to get the prescription renewed. The thought of what it could do to my insides terrifies me...but I don't know if it terrifies me enough to stop, because the thought of facing the daily stress and pain terrify me just as much. I don't know if I need help...but just the thought of asking for help crossing my mind makes me think that it may not be so crazy after all.

  33. Addict

    Hi there...I have been buying Tylenol 1s with codeine over the counter for 23 years. I have arthritis in my spine and it hurt a lot to fall asleep. At the time I was drinking Nyquil or anything else I could find to make me fall asleep and then discovered these. At first I was only taking a few but over the many years I never think twice in taking handfuls of them. I go through a bottle of 200's in a few days and have to find another pharmacy to get more. If I don't take them before bed I get migraines and feel crappy until I give in and take more. I have been off them twice when I was pregnant but that was because I could blame me being sick on the babies and no one would find out. I was married for over 12 years and my ex was never the wiser and I still haven't confided in anyone about this. There are many times when I would like to but I always change my mind. I know that I am doing harm...I sometimes get sharp pains in my belly, I feel my heart race, I get dizzy and I have even vomited them up because my system knows that I have taken too many! I truly want to stop but I do not want to tell anyone either about this habit I have. The only good this is it doesn't affect my daytime hours nor does it affect things I do with my children as I always take them right before I go to bed...I am afraid that one day I just won't wake up but I try not to think about that....any advice???

    • Addict

      Same exact problem, I've been on 16 at a time for years. It cannot be done alone...I've quit Coke and Heroin but just can't kick the T 1's. I saw a Methadone Dr. and was not taken seriously. I am amazed the punishments a human liver can endure. If we just didn't wake up one day, which would be easy. It won't happen that way. There will be hospitalization, pain, possibly dialysis and transplant needed. Codeine causes depression and all the caffeine causes anxiety. I have spoken to a few people with our exact same are not alone. Best advice is to talk to your MD and a qualified addictions counselor. This is a serious problem and I know it. Have your liver function checked for damage; it will appear as elevated enzyme levels. I stopped a couple of times without success, it was as though I'd fried my brain and could not function normally due to panic, anxiety and depression. On Monday I am going to another methadone clinic...I believe this is the only way to kill cravings and give your brain time to restore depleted neural activity and normalize brain function. After so long it has been as regular as breathing to me, it's such an ingrained part of me it is like cutting off a finger. Ignoring it has not made it go away, thinking about it freaks me right out. Help is needed...and available. Do not let shame kill your quality of life any longer. I truly, truly hope you can beat this, I haven't been able to. And the future looks dark and bleak for me. The whole thing feels silly at times...why can't I beat this? I hope you find a way.

    • Addict

      Hi, I, also have been buying Tylenol with codeine for over 25 years. I first started because I would get a lot of headaches. I don't take as many as you do, but I have to write down which drugstore and the date I bought them so they don't ask questions. The problem now is that if I don't take them I get headaches and I feel so tired and confused. I'm trying so hard to stop, but it's never a good time, I always find an excuse to take some for the last day....Is there something that we can take to help get off these things?

  34. Addict

    I have been prescribed for up to 240 mg a day 2 pills every four hours sometimes take 3 Or 4 at a time but then take no more during the day so I am given 224 pills a month for fibromyalgia pain, I also take a slow release tramadol once a day...clonazepam 2 mg twice daily and 30 mg of baclofen a day and 200 mg or sertraline and zopliclone for sleep is any of these going to cause me problems I have severe pain, an anxiety ,depression and a bad case 0CD that can sometimes truly housebound be for the fear of leaving my house.

  35. Addict

    Sorry I am also a alcohol abuser who is getting better and was going to go to a treatment center but husband got diagnosed with a terminal cancer so my role has become caretaker so I need to be sober and trustworthy in case I need to quickly get him to the shrink also makes me get monthly blood work done so that helps with keeping things under control.

  36. Addict

    Oops also forgot the 4 mg of lorazepam 4 times daily and sometimes I take all 4 at one time because 1 does not seem to do a thing.

  37. Addict

    Hi folks, been reading your comments and I am shocked to see just how many do suffer from codeine addiction. I have been taking dyhydrocodiene now for 28yrs.Initially my daily dose rose to approx. 24/30mg tabs split throughout the day. !0 the second I opened my eyes and then followed doses of 5 and four last thing at night. The thing that people don't understand about codeine addiction is that because it suppresses the central nervous system, most internal problems are also masked. I have recently reduced down to 10 but due to my having an inherent and serious heart condition from both parents, I hadn't realized the entire time I had been displaying serious painful symptoms which normally would've triggered me to see my cardiologist i.e. bad angina attacks etc. but I just wasn't feeling it. When then I reduced my symptoms as with all sorts of other symptoms became apparent with the less dosage I took the less nervous system suppression. I found out my life had been at serious risk because I hadn't felt the symptoms my body was giving out due to suppression. Once I reduced as I said, it became apparent my heart condition had worsened but I just didn't know. Anyway, I am still on 10/30 mg daily but due to side effects etc. I have to do this at a super slow rate. I have successfully kicked my habit twice before for a very short period only to stupidly end up back on them an without sounding arrogant, there is nothing I don't know about codeine or its withdrawals from every single angle as I have the T-shirt and video the lot. If it helps, people can inbox me for advice and I will gladly give my phone number to best advice you safely and without risks as with available professional sources out there to also help. I actually believe I have a rock solid answer to coming off this drug with the least physical and emotional impact and if I can help one person to get where I am today (from a place where my body expected a dose almost to the clock, to now controlling it as opposed to it controlling me)I have halved my dose very easily which at one time the thought of reducing just one scared the living daylights out of me. It has to be done individually to each person and not on a statistical all for one regime. Please refer to the author of this page for my email which I gladly give consent for them to do. It will be easier to talk on the phone than email lots of people hence why receiving your email I will contact you back or vice versa. Good luck with your journey guys. x

  38. Addict

    24 years ago I started taking codeine. Almost 500 mg/day. But it's the Tylenol I'm worried about. How am I still alive? I quit coke and heroin cold turkey and suffered through it, but I can't quite T1's. What the hell do I do? I have an appt. with a methadone Dr. to see if that is an option. The last Dr. wouldn't start me on juice, like I was a joke when he had heroin junkies to deal with. Tried to quit several times...taper and cold turkey, but it is just so easy to get...and cheap. I have to do something before my liver explodes...what do I do?

  39. Addict

    I have been on Panadeine forte for at least 10 years, with Endone and Tramadol interspersered here and there. I don't know HOW addicted I am, although I can certainly relate to the taking it at times even when not in pain to get that calm feeling.

    I have been concerned by the long term side effects, and as a personal way of managing any liver damage...I would highly recommend looking at the research in to the use of SILYMARIN which is the main ingredient found in Milk Thistle. Its primary action is liver support. It helps create NEW liver cells which replace the dead ones. Heaps of info. So please PLEASE do yourselves a favor and google the research. That is one really positive thing you can do for yourselves, and KNOWLEDGE EQUALS POWER. Sometimes hopelessness sets in when you feel you don't know where to go. Most Doctors don't know much about alternatives for pain management.

    My own regimen is going to be (have started), is researching anti-inflammatory foods, strengthening exercise, intake of silymarin, and changing my stinking thinking about myself and treasuring my body.

    Good luck to everyone and may you all be set free from this bondage, Life is worth living and you are a blessing!

  40. Addict

    I'm on day 11 on quitting my codeine addiction and it's become manageable with the withdraw symptoms, I have been off and on for close to 7 years but now I have a baby boy to quit for and for the first time since I quit I was tested when my wife said she wouldn't think less of me if I bought painkillers for my eye watering toothache I currently have, just as long as I don't go on for more than 3 days. I said no, the toothache is bad but I don't want that feeling anymore that codeine gives me. I feel for anyone on this terrible addiction and know the awful things it does to us all, I sneaked around trying to find money, spending all our wages on painkillers, I would lie in the chemist saying I had back ache or toothache or even worse "it's for my wife" I even got banned from a pharmacy just round the corner from me, it was a horrible feeling for the manager to come out to ask me questions in front of everyone but now I'm free and on my baby boys life I will never be hooked on this curse again.

  41. Addict

    Here's a cheery one.

    30+ years at anything up to 800mg a day. This is easy in the UK you can buy it over the counter and some pharmacists will sell you 2 or 3 bottles one day Ill sue the swine! I would love to see a breakdown of how these products are sold I bet any pharmacists who ask no questions make a mint but have very abnormal deliveries.

    On the plus side If u take the pure form health problems are few,

    I last saw the doctor 15 years ago after falling out of a tree (don't ask) but had a bp and liver function test a while ago and that was fine.

    Currently in Germany and withdrawn only the insomnia now.

    But that urge is killing me knowing I could feel 110 with so little trouble.

  42. Addict

    I have read every single comment, word for word and it sounds like everything in/on my mind! I assumed I was the only one with a tylenol-1 addiction going on 15 years 100 pills a day. The shame and embarrassment of going to any pharmacy now because they all document your intake how many bottles you buy is too much. The want is there, god I want to be done, I have tried less is more , weaning, cold turkey which lasts no longer then 24hours and I know I want to stop because I saw a Dr. and was honest and she looked at me and asked you're not dead yet? She prescribed me more pills to take to help with the aches and the constant feeling of pain and having to keep moving at all times.... The quilt of making it 24 hours and then giving up is also to much to take. I am so lost without it, I hate how I feel and trying to stop makes me feel even more useless. Reading post after post I feel better I feel stronger I am looking at my bottle and I only took 5 pills instead of ten and said okay no more for the night because I can easily do 30 more before bed. But tonight it's five, and in the morning it will be the same. How do you stop feeling so useless and guilty and not worthy enough? Is that just the excuse I use because I don't even know why I have to have them anymore, I was lucky enough to have all my teeth fixed perfectly and have a incredible bright white smile now, I said when the tooth pains stopped I would to. I don't even use my smile because I have nothing to smile about. The daily struggle of trying to buy a bottle of 200 in this city is a full time job in itself and I don't want it none of it, so frustrating and it hurts.

    • Addict

      I take 30 or so a day, I have a nerve disorder, but I definitively take more then I need. It started with Kidney Stones, though, which are gone now. I've been having pains in my kidney area, that's how I ended up here, I started getting worried. How did 100 a day effect that? (And man, do I sympathize with being embarrassed going to buy more. I hate to admit that I split it between 3 different pharmacies.) Also, does it make you feel sick? The Tylenol 1s? I also have Social Anxiety, so I'm house bound. I think I put up with the nausea it causes because it helps me sleep and pass the day. I also wanted to tell you you aren't alone.

  43. Addict

    Hi I'm 29 male and I know I'm addicted to codeine I've been on them about a year now it's taking over my life and I have a little 5yr old boy who lives with me full time and I'm scared to tell the doctor because I don't want to lose my son! I need help but I can't go into rehabilitation because I have to look after my boy he is my world n I couldn't be away from him.

    • Addict

      Hiam a Fourty yr old women who was addicted to tramadol and co codomol. I would take Approx 20 a day for over three years. like you I have a young child and was concerned how I would be judged if I explained my addiction. Luckily I went to doctors who didnt judge and supported me he arranged for an appointment with a drug worker. The drug worker arranged for me to be put on subitec and lefexedine. The subitec was reduced and the lefexedine helped with the withdrawals. The docs will need to take yr blood pressure to ensure you dont have low blood pressureut the lefexedine helped me continue with my day to day routine. I have been clean for a month now and feel great! The help is available if u ask for it x

  44. Addict

    I've been using codeine recreationally for about 3 years now. I do it most weekends and take 2 - 300 mg per dose. I worry about some of you taking over the counter pills, someone said 28 per day?! It's the paracetamol/ibuprofen/aspirin that's in them thtat will kill you. When they say no more than 8 in 24 hours you should take heed. Seriously stop that.

  45. Addict

    Well, where to start? Ok ive been addicted to codeine now for almost 2 years, maybe longer. It started off just taking 1 or two but rapidly went right up to 40 ish! When I started taking these tablets I had just had a massive breakdown, and I guess I was looking for a way to numb the pain...wrong bought me here..I just had another depressed episode last week and now I am determined to get off these evil tablets within a few currently on 5, its just so hard, it takes away all of your confidence, people don't trust you, you find yourself lying to the doctors, drug workers ect...if I stay on this road - I will loose my family, there is no choice, im doing it for them, depression is the worst thing anyone can go through, and with it can be cruel, get help, get on a reducing dose, be honest with the doctors/pharmasists. So today, im starting again, I refuse to let addiction destroy this little part of me that's left, its time to take control back.

  46. Addict

    Just found this site by accident so maybe this comment will not show on site.With regards Codeine Phosphate I firmly believe that doctor's should be more vigilant when prescribing this medicine.Three years ago I developed Sciatica and went to see specialist at local hospital.After an examination he told me I had no need to return and he will write to doctor. In true man fashion I did not contact my doctor to ask what the specialist had written thinking that if it was anything important surgery will get in touch with me.
    When my doctor told me he suspected Sciatica he asked what I was taking and I told him Paracetamol one day and Ibuprofen the next. He told me to stop the Ibuprofen and just take the Paracetamol.For twelve months then I took this medication.Now anyone with Sciatica will know how painful it can be and after that twelve months I asked at my surgery if there was a stronger painkiller than Paracetamol.When I went to pick up a prescription Codeine Phosphate had been added.Dosage I was told to take was 2 Paracetamol with between 1-4 Codeine tablets.Never did I take the full dose but I was taking Codeine Phosphate for over 12 months.
    After taking it for that length of time I was experiencing dramatic health problems mainly breathing and the medication certainly did not ease the pain.
    Then one day after collecting a fresh supply of Codeine because it came in a smaller box decided to read the leaflet enclosed and what I read shook me to the core.First of all I went to possible side effects section and of the side effects listed I was experiencing 5 which was too big a coincidence to ignore.
    I was suffering shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing,tremors,dry mouth,dizziness and the one that really made me sit up and take notice was muscle rigidity. Why?,because I had spent over £100 at a special Sciatica clinic and was told by the specialist there that he could not help me because my muscles were tense which is the same as rigid.
    What really concerned me was that when I then went on to the Other special warnings there was the warning,Do not take for longer than directed by your prescriber. At no time did I have a talk with my doctor with regards taking this medication.The leaflet also says,Not to be taken for more than 3 days.I was taking it for over 12 months.
    So now I am in a right state health wise and just fit for the knackers yard.

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