Codeine Addiction

At Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn we can provide a full medical detox and rehabilitation programme for those with Codeine addiction. Over the years, Codeine (an effective painkiller) has become a popular prescription pill but is highly addictive. Codeine can be readily purchased as an over the counter medicine from Chemists; strong forms of the drug are prescription only.

The majority of individuals that become physically dependent on Codeine, do so as a result of taking it for an original genuine physical complaint. A physical dependency to Codeine can develop with continued use of the drug within 3-5 days! Most who are physically dependent do not realise they are until they try to stop and as a result develop very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Codeine can also be abused by some for its effects.

They may purchase large quantities of the medicine from over the counter, off the internet, or manipulate their GP into getting a prescription of a stronger form. Addiction to a prescription drug or over-the-counter medicine can be just as life-threatening as any other addiction, and carry the same devastating consequences to the individual and their family and loved ones.

15 Signs and Symptoms of Addiction to Codeine

If you or a loved one has concerns of a codeine addiction, there are some signs and symptoms to watch out for: If you answer yes to one or more you may have an addiction to codeine – call us today!

  • Using larger doses of the drug to gain the same effect due to building tolerance
  • Suffering withdrawal symptoms
  • Using codeine when there is no genuine physical pain, purely for the effects
  • Going to different chemists in order to hide purchasing
  • Purchasing codeine and its generic forms over the internet
  • Hiding the amount consumed from others
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose to achieve a state of warmth and sleepiness
  • Mixing Codeine medications with other substances such as Valium
  • Manipulating others/medical professionals to get more of the drug
  • Feelings of fear and agitation rising when the supply is running low
  • Experiencing financial difficulties due to purchasing codeine
  • Missing appointments/work/commitments due to getting high
  • Experiencing difficulties within relationships
  • Resorting to crime/stealing to get money to buy more
  • Suffering physical ailments and damage to internal organs

Of course, there is no finite list; as the addiction progresses the individual will become more and more entrenched in deceitful and destructive behaviours. The above list of addictive traits will give you an idea if you or a loved one have developed a problem with Codeine that requires professional help and treatment.

As a general rule, addiction can only be hidden for so long, most addicts will go to bigger and bigger extremes to get the next high. Their appearance will alter, they may lose weight, neglect their personal hygiene and affairs. Often they will start to withdraw from others and isolate, becoming unmotivated and more depressed or anxious.

What Is Codeine?

Codeine is a medical opiate analgesic (painkiller) and is derived from Morphine. It is much stronger than paracetamol or ibuprofen. It can come in pill form or linctus form. It is used medically to relieve symptoms of mild to moderate pain, it comes in varying strengths and also acts as a cough suppressant. A doctor or medical physician can prescribe stronger variations of the drug and there are many medical drugs that contain Codeine in them.

Recently, over-the-counter Codeine-based medicines carry an addiction warning on the box, label or inside the leaflet, as will the prescribed varieties. It is often combined with other painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen for a more powerful and effective pain relief. In addition to delivering fast and effective relief from pain, it also induces feelings of warmth and well being.

The effects depend on the individual and how they react to it. Some will feel stimulated with increased concentration and stamina; whilst others feel drowsy/sleepy and unmotivated. Codeine should only be used for short-term pain relief of non-chronic physical conditions unless managed carefully by a physician.

Codeine Addiction

Tolerance to Codeine builds very quickly in the user. This happens when the body and brain chemically adjust to a dosage and more and more is required in order to achieve the desired effect. Because it is so highly addictive, physical addiction and tolerance are commonplace. This process is known as a dependency.

Abrupt discontinuation of the drug can cause some very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms; this causes the user to carrying on taking the drug in order to avoid withdrawal. Recent statistics show that as many as 900,000 people across the UK could be misusing a form of Codeine at present. This is an alarming number and begs the question if stricter controls should be put in place.

In many western countries including the US, Codeine is already a controlled drug; Australia will be following suit in 2018. They have recognised the vast increase in Codeine abuse and addiction and are taking appropriate measures to try and reduce this. In fact, over the past decade, the use of Codeine has more than quadrupled.

Different Forms of Codeine

There are many different brand names for over the counter Codeine that can be purchased and they come in varying strengths and are combined with additional analgesics:

Commonly abused over-the-counter codeine-based medicines:

Co-Codamol – Codeine combined with paracetamol; can be purchased with up to 8 mg of codeine per tablet

Solpadeine Max and Solpadeine Plus – Codeine combined with paracetamol contains 12.8mg of codeine per tablet. Solpadeine Max also contains caffeine. These two brands are available in tablet form and also dissolvable in liquid form

Nurofen Plus – Codeine combined with Ibuprofen; contains 12.8mg of codeine per tablet

Paramol –  Dihydrocodeine 7.5 mg combined with paracetamol

Feminax – 8mg of codeine per tablet combined with paracetamol

Codis – 8mg of codeine combined with aspirin

Codeine is also used in certain over-the-counter cough medicines as it acts as a cough suppressant

Commonly abused prescription only codeine/synthetic opiate-based medicines are:




Prescribed codeine comes in varying strengths, usually combined with another non-opioid analgesic for maximum effect. Some variations are synthetic and made to mimic the effects of codeine and can be even more difficult to detox from because of their complex make-up and hold more potential to be abused.

How It Affects Us

Codeine is an opioid and provides pain relief by working on the brain and spinal cords opioid receptors, causing them to mimic and release the body’s naturally occurring endorphins, to deal with pain. The endorphins together with the opioid pain receptors in the spine and brain, block the transmission of pain signals and so provide the individual relief from pain symptoms.

It is important to understand that Codeine only treats the symptoms of pain and not the actual cause. The strength of Codeine prescribed by a physician will be dependent on the pain levels present in the patient. With over the counter medicines, pharmacists will happily advise on the strength recommended based on your individual levels of pain.

Mild to moderate pain, in most cases, can be adequately treated with over the counter variations of Codeine. Moderate to severe pain usually requires prescription strength from a medical professional. Endorphins are also the body’s “happy chemical”; Codeine, taken in large doses, provides the user with feelings of warmth, euphoria and elation.

The feelings of euphoria and warmth are the effect the individual becomes addicted to and craves more of. Those that abuse and become addicted to Codeine based medications will find themselves using larger and larger amounts to gain the same euphoric effects; this happens when the body has become tolerant to the drug. Some, seeking a bigger high, may binge on the drug and risk overdosing which can be fatal

The Risks of Codeine Addiction

Codeine carries risks both in the short-term and long-term use. Short term abuse or binging on the drug, especially when it is combined with another pain reliever or suppressant, can lead to damaging the internal organs, sleepiness, coma and death. Long-term use, again especially when combined with another suppressant or pain reliever, can lead to internal bleeding, compromised organ function, organ failure, and death.

Medical Codeine Detox

Here at Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn, we are able to facilitate a full medical detox from Codeine in its varying forms. If you or a loved one have a dependency on this medicine, it is likely you will have a lot of fear around withdrawal and stopping. We understand this fear completely and will do everything we can to ensure your detox is as comfortable as possible without compromising your safety.

Once admitted to our rehab, you will undergo a comprehensive medical assessment carried out by our Doctor. During the consultation, our doctor will discuss with you a suitable medical detox. If required, a detox regime will be prescribed, taking into account all aspects of your addiction and your physical and mental health condition. This will be continually monitored and reviewed by our therapeutic staff and Counsellors throughout your stay.

Our doctors are addiction specialists, so you can be assured that you are in safe hands; each individual is different and we take this into account at all times. It is important to us that you complete your detox and leave our clinic drug free; we will do all we can to help you achieve this. Furthermore, you will be supported by our staff throughout the detox process and benefit from the addiction therapies that we have to offer


Withdrawal from codeine can lead to some very unpleasant physical and mental symptoms if not carried out in a correct and controlled way. Our medical detox helps to reduce physical cravings and reduce the withdrawal symptoms to more manageable levels.

The duration of the detox required will depend on the strength and amount of Codeine you have been taking regularly and also the duration of your addiction. If Codeine is stopped abruptly without medical help, you or your loved one can expect to experience the following symptoms of withdrawal:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Chills
  • Anxiety and Panic attacks
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps and pains
  • Agitation
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Yawning
  • Coughing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stomach cramps
  • Low and emotional mood
  • Headaches

Codeine withdrawal symptoms will diminish over time, it may be a few weeks or even a few months before you start to feel better, depending on the amount you are withdrawing from. As an opiate-based drug Codeine has similar withdrawal symptoms to the Class A drug Heroin, especially when taken in larger quantities.

This is why codeine addiction is considered severe and dangerous. If you are mixing codeine with other substances such as alcohol or other drugs, it may be that you will need a detox from both. Our doctor will discuss this with you fully during your consultation and take all factors into account.

The Dangers of Combining Codeine with Alcohol and Drugs

If you or your loved one are mixing any form of codeine with alcohol or another drug, detox and withdrawal symptoms can be particularly dangerous and unpleasant. It is vital that you get medical and professional advice before attempting any kind of detox alone. Clinically it has been proven that the safest way to detox is with medical assistance, supervision and support, which is why we provide this service for all of our clients.

Combining Codeine with any of the following substances is considered particularly dangerous and even life-threatening, as is the withdrawal:

  • Alcohol
  • Valium
  • Sleeping tablets
  • Heroin
  • Methadone
  • Tranquillisers

Did you know that under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) and Driving Legislation it is illegal to drive or operate heavy machinery if you are deemed unfit? A new drug driving law came into force in March 2015 and includes controlled and over the counter drugs such as codeine. If taking codeine slows down your reactions, affects your concentration or causes drowsiness, you should NOT drive or operate heavy machinery. A drug driving conviction can carry heavy penalties and a ban from driving.

Our Codeine Addiction Treatment Programme

If you or your loved one have an addiction to Codeine and want help, you have come to the right place! We are very experienced in treating all kinds of addictions and carrying out medical detoxes whilst supporting our clients throughout the process.

In addition to a full medical detox from the drug, we also provide a full rehabilitation programme. We have found that this is essential in order to achieve permanent recovery from addiction. Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease and without the correct treatment and ongoing support and maintenance, the sufferer is prone to relapse and resorting back to old destructive behaviours.

Our Codeine rehabilitation programme addresses the root causes of the addiction and assists the individual to undergo a complete change in thinking and behaviours. The crux of addiction lies within the individual’s mindset and their delusional belief systems; without addressing the mental aspect of the disease of addiction there is an extremely high chance of relapse. We can free you from the psychological as well as the physical dependence on Codeine; we have the means and expertise to ensure you never have to return to your addiction again.

Addiction is a life-threatening illness and we take our role very seriously. We believe in the treatment programmes that we offer and have witnessed many miraculous transformations within our rehab. Here are just some of the benefits of admitting to Oasis Recovery Communities Runcorn for treatment:

  • You will be in a safe and nurturing environment away from the temptation of drugs
  • You will be under the care of a team of specialists including a Doctor, Counsellors, therapists and support workers
  • You will undergo a full medical detox for any dependency that you have
  • You will benefit from proven therapeutic addiction treatments, such as CBT, Counselling, Psychotherapy, Creative Arts, Mindfulness and a full recovery programme specifically tailored to meet your individual treatment needs
  • You will be supported by like-minded individuals and build a new positive network of recovery friends
  • You will receive 1-year free aftercare on completion of your treatment programme

If you or a loved one have an addiction to Codeine, there is hope and we have a solution that offers permanent recovery. Please call us to discuss your individual circumstances with one of our highly trained and experienced clinical team, who will be happy to assist you in any way that they can.

“ Because it was prescribed, I had no idea I was addicted to Codeine until I tried to stop. Previously, I would never have identified myself as an addict. But the reality was I needed help. I had become deeply depressed and feared I would never be able to stop them. I am so glad I made the decision to admit my problem and ask for help. Today i’m free from Codeine and couldn’t be happier or more grateful to Oasis for getting me back on track” ~Fennella, 45

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Call Now 0203 131 5938

Call Now 0203 131 5938

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