Can You Really Get Addicted To Cough Syrup?

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Codeine is an opioid analgesic medication used to treat moderate to severe pain and coughing. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. Codeine is a controlled substance and can be habit-forming, so it is typically only used when other pain medications have not been effective and should be taken only as prescribed by a doctor.

Why Do People Abuse Cough Syrup?

People abuse cough syrup containing codeine because it contains an opioid drug which can produce a feeling of euphoria and relaxation when taken in higher doses than what is recommended. 


Additionally, codeine can be addictive, and people may continue to abuse it to experience these effects and avoid withdrawal symptoms. However, it is important to note that abuse of codeine can have serious side effects, including respiratory depression, addiction, and overdose, and should be avoided.

How does Codeine Affect The Brain?

Abusing cough syrup containing codeine can affect the brain in several ways. When taken in high doses, codeine can bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, leading to an increase in the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which produces feelings of euphoria and pain relief. This can lead to a state of physical dependence, where the brain and body become used to the presence of codeine, and withdrawal symptoms occur when use is stopped.

However, excessive use of codeine can also lead to a range of negative effects on the brain and body, including impaired decision-making and judgment, decreased reaction time, confusion, and drowsiness. In addition, long-term abuse can cause changes in the brain’s chemistry and structure, leading to addiction and other serious health problems, such as respiratory depression, liver and kidney damage, and potentially fatal overdose.

What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Codeine?

Codeine, when taken in recommended doses, can have both physical and mental side effects. Some common physical side effects of codeine include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Decreased appetite

Mental side effects can include:

  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment
  • Mood changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation or anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Delirium
  • Disorientation

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Can You Overdose On Codeine?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on codeine. An overdose occurs when you take a toxic amount of a substance, leading to serious and potentially life-threatening health problems.

Signs and symptoms of a codeine overdose can include:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Blue or purple skin, lips, and nails due to lack of oxygen
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Confusion, disorientation, or delirium
  • Weak pulse or low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

What to do if someone you know is overdosing on codeine:

An overdose of codeine can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has taken an overdose of codeine, call 911 or your local emergency services immediately.

While waiting for emergency services to arrive, you can try to keep the person conscious and awake by talking to them, shaking their shoulders gently, and keeping them in a seated position if possible.

It’s important not to try to induce vomiting or give the person anything to drink, as this can cause further harm.

The emergency responders will be equipped with the necessary medications and equipment to treat an opioid overdose, which may include naloxone (Narcan), a medication that can quickly reverse the effects of the opioid.

Do Celebrities Influence Codeine Abuse?

Celebrities can have an influence on the amount of codeine abuse, particularly through their music, media appearances, and public behavior. If a celebrity promotes or glorifies the use of codeine or other substances, it can contribute to the normalization and glamorization of drug use, particularly among young people who may look up to them as role models.

However, it is important to note that substance abuse is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors, and celebrities are just one of many influences. Other factors such as availability, peer pressure, mental health, and access to treatment resources also play a significant role in substance abuse.

It is important for celebrities to use their platform responsibly and not promote or glorify harmful behavior. Educating the public about the risks and consequences of substance abuse can also help reduce the incidence of codeine abuse.

What Treatment Options Do I Have for Codeine Addiction?

Treatment options for someone addicted to codeine typically include a combination of medical and behavioral therapies. The goal of treatment is to help the individual safely stop using the drug and prevent future use, while also addressing any underlying physical, psychological, and social issues that may have contributed to the addiction.

Some of the most commonly used treatment options for codeine addiction include:

  1. Medications: Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for codeine.
  2. Detoxification: Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to safely eliminate the drug and can be done in a medical setting under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
  3. Behavioral therapies: Cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, and motivational interviewing are some of the behavioral therapies that can be effective in treating codeine addiction. These therapies help individuals identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors related to drug use.
  4. Rehabilitation and residential programs: Rehabilitation programs can provide a structured and supportive environment for individuals to overcome addiction, while also addressing any underlying mental health or social issues.
  5. Aftercare and support groups: Aftercare and support groups can help individuals maintain their sobriety and reduce the risk of relapse.

Get Help With Addiction In Los Angeles Now

Addiction and mental health disorders are a common struggle among American adults. With IOP treatment, recovery from these disorders is possible. Treatment can include therapy and medication management if needed.

If you or your loved ones are struggling with addiction or mental health, reach out Solace Treatment today. Our team can answer any questions you may have and give you a better understanding of our IOP program.