Codeine Abuse Recovery: Addiction, like many other diseases, can be treated most effectively if it is diagnosed early. The key, of course, is to make the diagnosis, which is very difficult if the disease has yet to take hold and seriously impact a person’s life.
That is the biggest problem with those who “abuse” drugs, but are not technically addicted. You can see that codeine abuse recovery becomes a sticking point, because the problem isn’t fully understood.
Abuser is last to admit problem
Don’t look for support from the abuser, because in the vast majority of cases, they do not think there is anything wrong. For example, a man is prescribed codeine for the control of moderate pain. Codeine, an opioid, and a naturally occurring substance in the opium poppy plant, is highly addictive.
Because of this doctors will prescribe a specific amount, to be taken at specific times of the day, for a specific period of time. Taken as directed, there shouldn’t be an issue, but human nature almost always pushes the limit.
Results not good enough
The man takes the medicine as directed, but maybe he isn’t satisfied with the results. The pill he took was effective in taking away most of the discomfort, but he wants more, so he takes two pills instead of one. That is abuse. Taking any substance for other than its intended purpose is abuse.
That might sound like a very narrow definition, but it’s necessary because abuse and addiction, depending on who you talk to, are the same thing. He takes two pills, then he decides to take his medicine more often. He runs out of the prescription, but he’s in luck because the doctor gave him a refill. The controls on opioid drugs are rather tight, so the refills are not endless. Therefore, the man goes to another doctor and gets a new prescription.
Begins to use for recreation
A couple of things are happening. The original intent was to control pain, but that need is more than likely gone. People can get a euphoric high from an opioid, or mellow out and really feel good.
They use the drug for recreation. The brain is changed. The drug has altered its chemical balance and it begins to think that it needs the drug to feel “normal.” The user develops a psychological addiction. The user may also be developing a physical addiction, meaning that he just won’t feel right without the drug in his system.
How can you tell addiction from abuse?
What is the dividing line between abuse and addiction? It depends on the individual. The underlying problem the user has is simple. As time goes along and the abuse continues, the body will build a tolerance to the drug, meaning more and more drug will be needed to achieve the desired effect.
To get high requires far more drug than the small amount needed to control mild to moderate pain. The abuser can’t get enough prescriptions from enough doctors, so the “doctor shopping” is not a long-term solution. He goes out on the street to buy his drug of choice. Another problem he faces is the fact that a prescription drug is more expensive than other opiates, to what started as an abuse of codeine turns into an addiction to heroin.
Back to the beginning of Codeine Abuse Recovery
That gets us back to our starting point. The best way to attack a problem is to identify it early. That’s where friends and family play an important role. The man who got the codeine prescription to control pain starts pushing the limits. It is helpful when someone else can see what is happening and take steps to intercede.
The key is to get the person into treatment. Let’s say they are building the psychological addiction, the earlier the better and there are therapies to assist in halting the abuse before it becomes a serious, even life-threatening issue.
Codeine Abuse Recovery is a COMPLETE change in lifestyle
Recovery is a lifestyle change. After treatment, abusers have to discontinue the old pattern of behavior and build new patterns, make better choices. For codeine abusers, most often an out patient treatment, followed by participation in the recovery community is very effective.
Recovering abusers and addicts provide a wonderful source of support and encouragement. Recovery people are open, honest and willing to help others face their disease. Narcotics Anonymous, for example, has meetings in just about every town and those meetings provide acceptance and understanding. The 12 Step recovery process has proven to be powerful in transforming millions of people, helping them become healthy, happy and productive.
Codeine abuse recovery is a matter of recognizing the problem and taking action. The sooner the better.