The truth about codeine

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Disclaimer: Despite the information from several medical sources, any information in this article should only ever be taken into action if recommended in consultation by your medical professional.

Codeine is an opioid pain medication that was discovered in 1832 by Pierre Jean Robiquet, a French chemist who achieved founding work in identifying amino acids. An opioid is a medication that is used to relieve pain by reducing the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and also affect those areas of the brain associated with emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus.

Codeine is a naturally occurring substance and is used to treat mild to moderately severe pain and is listed on the World Health Organisation’s Model list of Essential Medicines. It is the most commonly taken opioid across the world, and is considered by some studies to be one of the safest narcotic pain relievers for a breastfeeding woman and her baby (although this has been disputed by the FDA). It is also used for the relief of coughs, and its constipating effect makes it helpful in treating diarrhea. At roughly one dollar per dose, codeine makes up about 2% of opium use. For examples of codeine-based medicine have a look at https://www.drugs.com/ingredient/codeine.html

Codeine works after being broken down by the liver into morphine. This is understood to occur at different rates depending on a person’s genetic makeup and is thought to metabolize faster in children, leading to its ban for use in children under twelve in numerous countries.

Codeine is not as widely abused as some drugs, but it may get a person started in the direction of opiate-based drug abuse. A person could start with codeine and then end up abusing oxycodone or hydrocodone, which are more highly addictive. Codeine addiction is becoming more common in the USA with an estimated 33 million codeine users per year, with opiate abuse amounting to over 20% of all drug-related admissions. Many people abusing opiates don’t even get a high but rather rely on the drug to function each day. An example of probably the most famous codeine based addiction is the fictional character Gregory House’s Vicodin addiction, seen in Fox Networks ‘House’.

As with most opiate-based painkillers, the road to addiction starts with an increasing tolerance to the drug in regular use, leading to physical dependence. This means a person could start out with a low dosage and then make their way up to a higher dosage as the drug becomes seemingly ineffective. When physical dependence has developed, withdrawal symptoms may occur if a person suddenly stops the medication; when abused, even a single large dose can cause severe respiratory depression and death. Withdrawal symptoms may include: diarrhea, vomiting, muscle spasms, stomach cramps, pain, drug craving, yawning, sweating, insomnia, weakness, chills, and irritability.

No matter what opiate or other drug is being used, when a person is unable to stop the continued use of a drug, it is important that they seek medical advice and help from friends and family to quit their addiction. The reality is that all drug addictions physically destroy the body as well as lead to the deterioration of other parts of your life.

No matter what opiate or other drug is being used, when a person is unable to stop the continued use of a drug, it is important that they seek medical advice and help from friends and family to quit their addiction. The reality is that all drug addictions physically destroy the body as well as lead to the deterioration of other parts of your life.

To have a hope of a full recovery, it is recommended that those suffering from an addiction contact one of the numerous drug addiction centers throughout the US such as Passages Malibu.

Sources:

http://www.drugs.com/dosage/codeine.html

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm315497.htm

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm118113.htm

https://www.drugs.com/ingredient/codeine.html

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/opioids

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/codeine-signs-symptoms.html

http://www.narconon.org/