When it comes to prescription opioid addiction, we’re in the middle of an epidemic. Each year, thousands of people die from prescription drug overdoses, and opioids are a leading cause. While medications like amphetamines and benzodiazepines are also dangerous, an opioid addiction can be debilitating. As an ingredient in many narcotic pain medications, codeine is one of the more commonly abused opioids.
What is Codeine and How is it Addictive?
A synthetic opiate, many doctors prescribe codeine to help men relieve pain. As a country, we prescribe 81% of the world’s opioid supply. Sometimes, medical professionals are too quick to prescribe medications like opioids for pain. While addiction only affects about 10% of the population, it has the power to destroy lives.
Opioids like codeine are addictive because they attach to specific brain receptors and release dopamine. While the body produces dopamine to give a person a sense of pleasure, opioids do this in excess. The brain naturally gravitates toward pleasure and wants to pull away from pain, making opioid effects more alluring. Eventually, the brain seeks this sensation regularly, which begins to make a person use compulsively.
Other opioids can include some of the following:
How Prescription Codeine Addiction Progresses
Most men receive these medications with no intentions of abusing them. As the brain becomes more dependent to the substance, men may begin justifying abuse. The original dosage no longer works for them. The brain also amplifies a person’s pain in an effort to make him take more than normal.
This abuse can evolve in ways that make men do things they never thought they’d do. Signs of opioid addictions include lying to doctors and stealing medications from loved ones. Many people who develop an opioid addiction will also start seeking out drug dealers to buy pills illegally. It can also lead to men trying harder, more dangerous drugs like heroin.
Recreational Codeine Use
According to recent studies, many young men abuse prescription medications before they turn 18. Young people aren’t the only ones who abuse medications either because many adults do this, too. Some men turn to opioids as a way to simply get high or increase the effects of other substances like alcohol. Some of them also mix liquid opioids to create a street substance known as “Purple Drank.”
No matter why men develop an addiction, physical and mental dependence is a big issue as well. By the time the substance abuse becomes a problem, it’s typically too late for someone to quit cold turkey. It’s common for people to continue using because withdrawal symptoms are far too harsh to deal with. Codeine withdrawal symptoms can be both physically and mentally agonizing.
Getting Help Through Treatment Programs
Serenity Lodge is an all-male facility ready to help you or a loved one overcome an opioid addiction. Upon starting treatment at our partner detox facility, Clients transition straight into our addiction treatment programs to begin healing. If you’d like to learn more about our program and amenity-rich facility, call Serenity Lodge today at (855) 932-4045.