Codeine Abuse Causes
Codeine Abuse Causes
beginning of codeine abuse causes isn’t all that difficult. Codeine is abused because people push the
limits. The technical name for codeine
is 3-methylmorphine and it is a narcotic pain medicine used to treat moderate
to severe pain. A person may start out
wanting to control pain, but over time they may begin to use codeine for
reasons other than the original one.
That is where abuse begins.
abuse. Codeine abuse is any use of the drug other than for the exact,
prescribed reason. It could be as
innocent as taking two pills instead of one, because you think you need more
medicine. It could be taking your
medicine too frequently, because you’re experiencing pain and you want
relief. For the purpose of this article,
let’s examine why codeine is abused even if someone tried to follow a
legitimate, medical guideline.
Codeine abuse causes start with the fact that codeine is an
opioid, and it is a natural alkaloid derived from the poppy plant, the same
plant used to create opium and its familiar derivatives, morphine and
heroin. Codeine is an effective pain
reliever and is often used in combination with Tylenol, aspirin, or
ibuprofen. You may have used a cough
medicine with codeine.
Like other opioid pain medications, codeine is addictive and
patients, over a period of time, can build up a tolerance to the drug. This tolerance leads to having to use more
and more drug to achieve the same effect.
This is why a person may take two instead of the one prescribed. The tolerance leads to abuse, which leads to
Addiction is the
state at which the person can no longer make a choice. They have to take the drug—they may not want
to but they must. People develop a
psychological and physical dependence.
Their brain is tricked into thinking it needs the drug to function, theses are the most important codeine abuse causes. It’s sort of a perfect storm. The person needs pain relief and they get
it. Then they need more medicine to
achieve the pain relief and they get it.
Their brain chemistry changes and they build the tolerance.
The changes may be very subtle and slow in coming, but they
are there. The user will need the drug
to achieve a sense of normalcy and they may begin to show signs of
addiction. They may have trouble with
missing work or school, or keeping regular sleeping hours, or as the abuse
develops into addiction they will become more fixated on getting the drug and
making sure they have a supply.
Still using long
after reason to use is gone
can be spotted in several ways, but it sometimes takes an observant eye to
notice. Here’s a common clue: the person uses the medicine after the
legitimate medical reason has elapsed.
Let’s say a person as a prescription from their dentist after a
procedure. They take the medicine, as
prescribed, but they discover that not only does it take the pain away, they
like the way they feel when they take it.
Very subtly the legitimate use morphs into abuse.
If their dentist won’t refill the prescription, they may
seek another dentist. That’s an obvious
sign of abuse. Sadly, legitimate need
can turn into abuse relatively quickly.
Another sign of abuse is taking the medicine in conjunction with another
substance, such as alcohol.
Start “shopping” for
As the abuse
increases on its way to addiction, the user may falsify a script to try to fool
a pharmacist into filling the prescription.
People who are not abusing the drug may unwittingly be feeding the abuse
and addiction of others. A parent leaves
the unused pills in the medicine cabinet, where their child can get a hold of
them. Some people will sell their
remaining pills to a drug dealer, who sells them on the street.
An abuser may take to the streets to find his/her drug of
choice when they can’t get a prescription, and there is no shortage of codeine
on the streets. In some cases, a person may abuse codeine to fight the
withdrawal effects of heroin.
Codeine abuse causes is a serious situation.
Depending on the amount of codeine taken, a person can suffer
respiratory depression and wind up in the emergency room. Abuse of this drug, like the abuse of other
opioids, can lead to memory loss, decreased libido, and in some cases
seizures. Nursing women should never use
codeine3, as their body will metabolize the codeine to morphine and that can be
passed to the baby through breast milk.
Can be effective if
Taken as prescribed, codeine is an effective medication for
pain control. But as we have discussed,
it is easy to see how legitimate use can lead to abuse. The best advice is to follow the doctor’s
exact orders and don’t go there. Once on
the abuse path, the distance to addiction is not that far.