Codeine is a prescription opiate that is used to help alleviate mild to severe pain. It is sometimes used as an ingredient in cough syrup, as well. It is derived from morphine and has a high risk of dependency and addiction. Abusing codeine can severely harm your body.

What Are Codeine Withdrawal Symptoms?

If you become addicted to codeine and want to stop using the drug, you will likely experience some withdrawal symptoms. With a drug like codeine, there are typically two stages of withdrawal. The first stage starts a few short hours after your last dose, and it may last a few days.

In the second stage, you may feel toward the latter part of the first week of detox when the codeine is working itself out of your body. Symptoms can last for a couple of weeks or up to a few months, depending on your level of addiction. Some common withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Runny Nose
  • Feeling Irritable
  • Yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle Aches
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Unpredictable Mood Swings
  • Cravings For More Codeine
  • Chills
  • Goosebumps
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Sweating
  • Fast Heartbeat

What Are The Stages Of Codeine Withdrawal Timeline?

How fast you get through the codeine withdrawal stages can vary from person to person. While it might take one person to get through them in as little as four or five days, it might take someone else who has a heavier addiction a week to ten days before they start feeling better.

The stages of withdrawal may differ greatly depending on a number of factors like:

  • How long you have been taking it
  • How much you would take
  • Frequency taken
  • Whether you are using other drugs
  • Overall health condition
  • Your mental health
  • Support network
  • Dietary habits
  • Age
  • Metabolism
  • Taper schedule
  • History of drug addiction or relapse

Below is a look at the general timeline of codeine withdrawal:

Day 1-3

The first few days are usually the worst, as you may feel as if you are coming down with the flu. It is best to face this stage with the help of addiction specialists because the chance of relapsing is higher here due to how uncomfortable you may feel. Since one of the main effects codeine has on the body is numbing, your muscles, joints, and bones are some of the first few places you may feel pain as you detox. Other symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety, yawning, and runny nose.

Day 4-7

By the time you reach the fourth day, some symptoms may be less daunting or gone, but you still may experience sweating, vomiting, achiness, fatigue, or loss of appetite.

By the end of the first week, many symptoms will have dissipated, but you may still feel pretty weak. Though usually, at this point, most people have gotten past the worst part. It is still vital to get all the rest you can to build your body back up again.

The withdrawal process can take longer for those who have a strong addiction to codeine. If you are undergoing a medical detox, your physician may put you on a taper schedule, which means that you will be weaned off the drug incrementally over time. This can help decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Be sure to treat your psychological health as well during this process. You may experience mood swings from time to time, so have a solid support network that can encourage and support you. Do not feel rushed into this and remember it can take several weeks or months to address and recover from all of the emotional and psychological issues that come with codeine addiction.

Why Should I Detox?

It is important to note that detoxing should be done under medical supervision via a treatment center for best results.

Quitting cold turkey may seem like it speeds up the detox process. However, stopping abruptly results in a challenging and uncomfortable situation as the symptoms of withdrawal intensify, and the chances of relapsing are greater.

It is not recommended to detox at home from codeine. Overdosing is a strong possibility as your intolerance for its effects rises, and your tolerance for the drug’s effects go down. Quitting cold turkey can also cause unnecessary stress for your brain and body.

One of the more popular ways of quitting is by tapering off the use of the drug. Tapering off is gradually taking less and less of the drug over time. This method does take longer, but it wreaks the least amount of havoc on your mind and body. It can take a few weeks or a few months, depending on the previously mentioned factors, such as the amount you are using or how long you have been using.

If used properly under medical supervision, there are also maintenance drugs like methadone and suboxone that can make the withdrawal symptoms more manageable. However, these drugs can also be addictive if used incorrectly.

What Is The Next Treatment Step?

Detoxing is just the first step toward a long-lasting recovery. It is one of the most vital steps of the recovery process and will make you feel well enough to go forward in your treatment journey. As you face the withdrawal symptoms, remember that detoxing is temporary. You will not feel those symptoms forever if you follow your detox plan and take care of yourself in the process.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment is one of the most common treatment options for people struggling with codeine addiction or abuse. This type of treatment requires you to stay at a treatment facility. This is a method used for a more intense and supervised healing process.

While residing at a residential treatment center, you are less independent than other forms of treatment, but the safety and structure of the program are known to help people recover successfully.

The length of your stay depends on the severity of the addiction and where you are at in the detox process. Some stay 28 days, and others opt for longer treatment, such as 90 or 120 days.

Residing at a residential treatment center is very convenient, as not only do they help you with your physical health, but they also help you with the psychological part of your recovery as well. You’ll have access to a therapist who can provide individual and group counseling.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive Outpatient Program is a form of treatment for those that do not necessarily need high-level medical supervision during the detox and recovery process.  It can also be used for people who are having to detox as a way to stay accountable and continue the healing process. IOP works on an intensive schedule, usually requiring at least 12 hours per week, but also allows you time for work and a social life with friends and family.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is a bit less intensive than IOP, allowing less than 12 hours of treatment per week. You will be able to live at home and commute to the facility for treatment, which works well for those who hold jobs or have family responsibilities.

Start Your Journey To Recovery Today

Whether you are reading this for yourself or a loved one, know that recovery from codeine addiction is entirely possible.  Give us a call today and allow us to direct you toward your best recovery path, so you can get back to life without having to be addicted to a drug.  Help is available, so please reach out today.

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