In North America, a commonly known drug, Tylenol 3 is the prescription drug that contains codeine. As an opiate, codeine turns into morphine in the body so that it can be used properly to relieve pain. The opium poppy, raised overseas by plant in areas like Afghanistan, is used to derive codeine. Codeine is related to morphine and heroin. Relieving pain and anxiety are the targets for codeine. Opiates in general are potentially able to affect and depress both breathing and other bodily functions as well.
Side effects seen with the use of codeine include:
• Dry mouth
• Nausea and vomiting
• Orthostatic hypotension
• Urinary retention
Even when used for therapeutic effects, a tolerance can be developed after a continued use of codeine, just like other drugs. The metabolism of the individual generally controls how long it might take for the tolerance level to be reached. Respiratory depression is a most significant probable adverse reaction as it is with other opiates. Lack of sexual drive (decreased libido) can also be a common side effect. There are adverse reactions with some psychiatric medications. Allergic reactions prompting swelling of the skin and rashes can occur.
Codeine is a very easy to find over the counter drug, leading to recreational use. There is prescription access thru combination drugs. There is a euphoric effect associated with any opiate and provides a reason for use of codeine. Drinking cough syrup straight out of the bottle can be one way to get a high from codeine. There are combination pills that can be taken whole or crushed and mixed with water for faster intake and absorption into the body.
The safe dosage level is between 10 and 60mg at one time. Recreational use, however, has been seen at the 60 to 400mg level at one time. Use over the 400mg dose level means there is an opportunity to waste the drug as the liver cannot metabolize any more than that. Maximum effect is achieved by taking the maximum does all at one time, as gradually increasing use will not achieve the desired results. Codeine has been taken orally, rectally and as a shot. Snorting, smoking or injecting it intravenously should never be attempted.
The dangerous side effects of using Codeine recreationally can be:
Dulling type effect, a lack of co-ordination and dulled responses;
Hepatotoxicity or liver damage when combined with acetaminophen;
Kidney problems and even kidney failure when combined with ibuprofen; and
Internal hemorrhaging, particularly bleeding of the stomach with combining with aspirin.
Treatment of this addiction should be immediate, as it resembles other opoid addictions in its effects. Often there is much more to the addiction than just the use of codeine. There is likely a physical and psychological dependence on codeine if an addiction is present. Intervention is recommended if you detect that a friend or loved one is exhibiting odd behavior and you suspect a codeine addiction. This addiction is very serious with possible fatal outcomes if not treated effectively.