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Codeine is a widely prescribed medication for pain relief which is usually taken orally. The body converts codeine into morphine so its effects are similar, if less intense.
Like morphine and heroin, it is an addictive substance and often becomes a drug of abuse. Doses in excess of those recommended or long-term use can lead to complications. When combined with other pain relievers, liver, kidney and stomach damage can develop.
Many prescribed and over-the-counter preparations have the potential to become drugs of abuse. These drugs are vital medical tools when used properly, but some people become addicted to them.
Common signs that someone is abusing painkillers include:
- Taking medication without seeming to have the symptoms of an underlying medical disorder
- Taking medication in excess of the recommended dose
- Taking larger and larger doses of medication to relieve symptoms
Part of the challenge of treating addiction to these painkillers is that, compared to illegal substances, they are easy to obtain. The risks of painkilling drugs vary according to the drug, but all can lead to medical problems, overdose and even death.
How we can help
Over 7,500 opiate users have safely detoxed with Detox 5 since 1995.
Patients addicted to codeine can receive treatment at Detox 5. Our approach is a five-day detox period followed by a course of naltrexone, an opiate blocker. Please click on the following link for more details of our detox programme.
I could never have done it without the help of Detox 5. The nurses, the staff, everyone there is great, very understanding no matter what your circumstances may be. However, I think that it should be funded by the NHS as many people would be helped.