Codeine is an opioid painkiller used to treat mild to moderate pain such as backache and diarrhoea. The drug is legal in the United Kingdom and is either prescribed (for higher dosages) or sold over the counter (for lower dosages) as cough medicines or in pill forms. It should only be used for short periods of time, as long-term use of the opiate can lead to a tolerance of the drug and cause addiction which requires treatment.

Popular brands of painkiller containing codeine include Nurofen Plus and Co-codamol and it is generally combined with other drugs such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen. Used as a painkiller, codeine works in the central nervous system and brain to block pain signals to the rest of the body, reducing anxiety and helping users to feel relaxed. Despite its popularity and perceived mild potency as an opioid, codeine can become highly addictive with long-term use and by intakes of dose larger than advised.

Signs of codeine addiction

Substance abuse of codeine medication can become apparent if the user has built a tolerance to the effects of the drug over a long period of use and needs or seeks a larger quantity to feel the same benefits. If users continue to take codeine for a long period or for more than four days at a time, a tolerance to the drug is developed. Some chronic users have been known to crush up codeine tablets and ingest and/or inject the drug. This helps users to experience a sense of euphoria similar to the sensation experienced from heroin use.

The main sign of codeine addiction is the experience of withdrawal symptoms. If symptoms such as sweating, shaking, nausea or a loss of appetite are experienced when codeine use is stopped for a period of time, it is extremely likely that the user has a substance abuse problem. It is important to seek medical help if any of these signs are experienced, and Ocean Recovery Centre provides a rehab programme for help.

Codeine addiction can impact a user’s physical and emotional state, behaviour, and cause some psychological symptoms such as hallucinations and memory loss. As is typical with opiates, the user can experience overpowering feelings of euphoria from the drug which is then followed by depression and anxiety upon stopping use. This can cause unpredictable mood swings and change the personality of the user who will need detoxification treatment to overcome their codeine addiction.

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Admissions to rehab

For people seeking treatment for a codeine addiction, Ocean Recovery Centre will undertake an initial assessment of the user. The assessment takes place entirely over the phone and after an initial discussion the patient will then receive a date to enter Ocean Recovery in person.

Upon arrival at the rehab centre the patient will receive a full physical and psychological medical examination by a qualified staff member to determine the treatment plan and needs of the person suffering from addiction. The clinical team at Ocean Recovery will then create a personalised treatment plan which is designed to meet the likely challenges that clients may face during their rehabilitation.

What happens at Codeine rehab at Ocean Recovery?

The first stage of codeine rehabilitation is detox. The patient will be treated by the team at Ocean Recovery for their withdrawal symptoms and will receive 24/7 medical attention throughout this period. Patients may be prescribed medications designed to reduce the withdrawal symptoms such as Subutex to make the transition as comfortable as possible for the patient.

As rehab at Ocean Recovery is residential, clients have meals and cleaning provided by the centre’s support staff, enabling the full attention of each patient to be solely on recovery and wellbeing. The needs of each individual are monitored, and treatment is personalised to ensure patients find their detoxification transition as comfortable as possible.

Common codeine withdrawal symptoms

The withdrawal period is necessary to flush out the toxins from a codeine user’s system and can be difficult to manage without professional medical support. Particularly during the acute withdrawal phase of detox, symptoms can be hard to manage. The staff are available 24/7 to provide medical attention to patients during this period and are able to prescribe medications to ease the detox.

Withdrawal symptoms of codeine detox include:

  • Nausea
  • Breathing problems
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache

Therapy for codeine addiction

Once the detox period has concluded, clients are encouraged to attend therapy and counselling services to address the psychological effects of codeine addiction. Ocean Recovery employs an in-house team of therapists who aim to treat the mental aspect of hydrocodone addiction.

Rehab aims to treat not just the physical but also mental aspect of codeine addiction. Therapy sessions take place in group settings which allows patients to mix and learn from other codeine addicts. Therapy also takes place through one-to-one sessions with a qualified therapist for a more intense version of psychotherapy which allows the therapist to determine the root psychological triggers of the patient’s codeine addiction.

The therapy offered at the rehab facility provides clients with coping mechanisms and ways to fight relapse following the completion of rehab. It is an important aspect of the recovery process and is necessary to provide patients with the tools needed to stay sober.

Aftercare support

Once rehab draws to a close a full codeine relapse prevention and aftercare plan are put in place. This plan helps clients to apply the knowledge taught during rehab in ‘real world’ situations. Aftercare includes 24-hour telephone support and weekly sessions which take place at the rehab centre.

Contacting Ocean Recovery Centre

Call Ocean Recovery today to find out more. Call on 01253 847 553. Alternatively, complete the enquiry form and a member of the team will respond shortly.

We maintain clinics across the United Kingdom.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: May 10, 2022

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Alexander Lapa - Clinical Reviewer at Ocean Recovery

Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist) - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed:

MBBS, PG Dip Clin Ed, OA Dip CBT, OA Dip Psychology, SCOPE Certified

Dr Lapa graduated in Medicine in 2000 and since this time has accrued much experience working in the widest range of psychiatric settings with differing illness presentations and backgrounds in inpatient, community and secure settings. This has been aligned to continuation of professional development at postgraduate level in clinical research which has been very closely related to the everyday clinical practice conducted by this practitioner as a NHS and Private Psychiatrist.
He is fully indemnified by the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) and MIAB Expert Insurance for Psychiatric and Private Medical practice. He is fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK with a licence to practice.

Dr Lapa is approved under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act (1983)

Member of Independent Doctors Federation (IDF), British Association for Psychopharmacology (BMA) and The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)

Dr Lapa’s extensive experience has also concentrated on the following areas of clinical practice:
– Assessment, Diagnosis and Pharmacological Treatment for Adults with ADHD.
– Drug and Alcohol Dependency and maintaining abstinence and continued recovery
– Intravenous and Intramuscular Vitamin and Mineral Infusion Therapy
– Dietary and Weight Management and thorough care from assessment to treatment to end goals and maintenance
– Aesthetic Practice and Procedures