Codeine addiction treatment

This Page was last reviewed and changed on June 6th, 2022

Content Overview

Rehabilitation for codeine addiction is provided by a variety of organisations, such as the NHS, charities, and private clinics. With both free and private options available, it is important to consider your treatment needs and budget when choosing a treatment provider. Finding out more about the differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment programmes can help to make your decision easier.

It is hard to imagine that a prescription drug could become addictive, but in the case of opioid drugs like codeine, addiction is a widespread problem. Many people develop an addiction to codeine because they seriously underestimate the damage that such drugs can do. Others simply do not believe that any medication prescribed by a doctor could be anything other than completely safe to take.

Abuse of any medication, including codeine, can quickly lead to an increased tolerance to its effects, which is all too often followed by physical dependence and addiction. If you have become affected by addiction to codeine, you will need professional help to get better and to get your life back on track once more. In the following paragraphs, this article discusses codeine addiction rehab and treatment and why it is very important.

The Importance of Codeine Addiction Treatment

Living with opiate addiction can end up being devastating in so many ways. For a start, it can have a negative impact on both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can equally affect your relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. When it is allowed to spiral out of control, addiction can result in poor health, the breakdown of relationships, financial problems, and even premature death.

If you have become addicted to codeine, it is vital that you seek help sooner rather than later as your illness is likely to get worse. Over time, you will need to take more codeine to achieve the desired effects but doing so can lead to many other problems and, more crucially, will increase your risk of overdose.

Codeine can suppress your breathing and lower blood pressure, thus increasing the risk of respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. You should also be aware that codeine is regularly combined with other ingredients when bought over-the-counter; taking high doses of some of these additional ingredients (such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin) can in itself lead to serious problems that could include liver failure, kidney failure, and internal bleeding, all of which could end up being fatal.

As well as the dangers of allowing a codeine addiction to go untreated in terms of health, you should also be aware that your relationships with those around you will almost certainly be negatively affected because of the changes in your behaviour.

As your need for codeine grows, you are unlikely to have much time for or interest in, anything else. You might start to neglect your responsibilities at home and at work while you may lose interest in hobbies or activities that you once enjoyed. Your loved ones will almost certainly find it hard to come to terms with your behaviour, which will obviously place a strain on your relationships.

In light of all the above, know that treatment for a codeine addiction can help to reverse many of the problems that have been caused by it. With the right programme, you can work on getting your life back on track. When you are no longer abusing codeine, your health will improve, and you can start to rebuild your relationships with others.

Treatment Philosophy and Benefits

Treatment for addiction is all about learning how to quit the substance in the first instance, and then learning how to live a substance-free life. But rather than looking at treatment as a quick fix, you should view it more as a process and a way of life.

Overcoming addiction is about changing thought processes and behaviours. You have probably developed negative habits that have become the norm, but through a programme of detox and rehabilitation, you will learn how to break those habits and develop new healthier ones.

Your brain has likely been altered by your use of codeine. Over time, the brain learns to depend on a regularly used substance to the point where it actually needs that substance to function normally. Other areas of your brain are also affected and your ability to exert self-control and make logical decisions has likely been affected. It is these changes that cause you to continue abusing codeine, even though doing so is likely to result in harmful consequences.

Addiction is a chronic illness of the brain, but you can train your brain to rewire itself around recovery in the same way that it rewired itself around your substance use. By committing to a programme of recovery and making the necessary changes, your brain will learn to view sobriety as the norm, instead of substance abuse.

It is important that you see recovery for what it is; a new way of life. If you attempt a recovery programme hoping for a quick fix, you will likely be disappointed. You need to know that you will need to stay away from mood-altering substances for the rest of your life, and with the right treatment programme, you will learn how to do this.

You will be given the opportunity to regain control of your life once more and you will have the chance to live a better life than you could have ever imagined possible. It might be difficult for you to see yourself living a life where codeine does not play a role but let us assure you that this is entirely possible.

You are not the first person to have developed an addiction to the medication and you will not be the last. Overcoming addiction is possible provided that you have a real desire to succeed and are willing to do everything it takes to achieve the life you want to live.

Tolerance vs. Codeine Dependence

If you have been prescribed codeine to treat mild to moderate pain, you will have likely found relief when first taking it. However, you will almost certainly have been advised to take it for a specific amount of time and no longer. Prolonged use of opioid drugs such as codeine will increase the potential for addiction.

What you may find, even with the recommended use of the drug, is that you develop a tolerance to its effects. An increased tolerance for codeine is likely to mean not getting the same pain relief as you did when you first began taking it.

What often happens when a drug such as codeine starts to lose its effectiveness is that there is a strong temptation to increase the dose.

Taking a higher dose of codeine might provide the desired relief but know that even this higher dose will become less effective after a while. Nevertheless, taking higher doses of codeine is classed as abuse and it could subsequently increase your risk for physical dependence and addiction. As touched upon above, it could also mean having a higher chance of overdosing, often with fatal consequences.

Tolerance is not the same as a physical dependence, although an increased tolerance usually comes before dependence. Dependence on codeine is usually indicated by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit or cut back on your use. It is the presence of these symptoms that prevents some individuals from coming off their medication, leading them to get caught in an eventual cycle of abuse.

Those with an increased tolerance to codeine are unlikely to require treatment in the first instance and should be able to come off their medication with few problems. However, once a physical dependence has developed, it may be necessary for a tapering schedule to be followed. Gradually reducing the dose of codeine can help to lessen the impact of withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to quit. Nevertheless, if you have already developed an addiction to codeine, quitting will not be so easy, and you will need detox followed by rehab to get better.

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Determining Treatment Readiness

Determining if your problem is serious enough to warrant treatment can be difficult, especially if you are convinced everything is fine but your loved ones see things differently. Addicted individuals are often the last to admit they need help, so it can be a struggle to accept a diagnosis of addiction, no matter what others say.

The fact that you are here reading this indicates at least some willingness on your part to accept that you may have a problem. If so, it is worth taking a closer look at your situation to determine what if any treatment you require.

If you were originally prescribed codeine to treat pain associated with a medical condition, consider whether your medication is providing the same relief it did when you were first prescribed it. If not, have you increased your dose? Have you noticed that you suffer unpleasant symptoms in between doses or when you have tried to cut down on your use? Do these symptoms subside when you take more codeine?

If you have answered yes to the above questions, you may have already developed a physical dependence on your medication and may be in danger of getting embroiled in a cycle of abuse – if this has not already happened.

Addiction to codeine is characterised by an uncontrollable need to use the drug, even when doing so has negative consequences for you or for those around you. If you are unable to meet your commitments at home or at work because of your drug use, for example, it is likely that you have a problem that requires treatment.

To accept being diagnosed as an addict is never easy but once you do come to terms with it, you will be ready for treatment and on your way to a better life once again.

Learning about Options for Codeine Rehab

When you are ready for treatment, you will need to learn more about what options are available to you. The good news is that here in the UK, there is plenty of choice in terms of the type of treatment programme and who provides it.

Most of the available programmes are based on either the residential or the daycare model and are provided by organisations such as the NHS, charities, local counsellors, local support groups, and private clinics. Who provides your care will depend on your preferences and individual requirements and circumstances.

Inpatient programmes are almost entirely offered by private clinics, although some charities do offer some residential programmes for those deemed in severe need of help and who cannot otherwise access private care.

How Much Does Codeine Rehab Cost?

Most outpatient rehab programmes are provided free of charge here in the UK by the NHS and some local charities. Local support groups are also free. However, to be treated in a residential clinic, you are almost certainly going to have to look at a private clinic, which will involve a cost.

The price you pay for codeine rehab will depend on several different factors. Some clinics charge more than others depending on things such as the facility itself and the length of stay required; you can expect to pay more for treatment at a luxurious clinic, for example.

There is a range of factors to consider including the reputation of the clinic and how long you will be staying for your treatment programme. It is these factors that will affect how much you end up paying. Nonetheless, on average, a 4-6-week programme is likely to cost anywhere between £4,000 and £6,000.

Paying for Codeine Rehab

If you have a severe addiction to codeine and are keen to get started on treatment right away, an inpatient programme may be the best option for you. This will mean paying for treatment, giving you a decision to make about if this is something that you can afford.

Although the price of private treatment is expensive, many clinics throughout the UK try to make the cost of addiction rehab more affordable. There are plenty of facilities out there that may make it easier for you to pay for the care that you need.

If you have private health insurance, you could also find that you are covered for all or part of the treatment, so it pays to look at this option also.

How to Find the Best Codeine Rehab Centre

Locating the best codeine rehab centre is obviously important but it is not as straightforward as choosing the first rehab provider you come across. It is crucial that you consider your needs and circumstances carefully before getting started on a programme of recovery.

Nowadays the treatment for addiction is based on bespoke plans of care that take the needs of the affected individual into consideration. As each addicted person is different and is affected differently by his or her illness, you can see how using the same treatment for each is no longer recommended. Basically, what works best for one person might be completely inappropriate for the next, so tailoring plans around the individual is now the norm.

When it comes to finding the best codeine rehab centre then, it might be wise to talk to someone who has experience of addiction recovery. This could be your doctor or someone from your local treatment centre. You can also contact us here at UKAT for advice and information on the options available in your area.

There are also online information databases that can provide details of treatment programmes across the country from which you can choose one suitable to you and your situation. By speaking to a professional about your situation, you will get a clearer understanding of your own needs, which will help you make a more informed decision regarding your care and who provides it.

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Types of Codeine Addiction Treatment

There are several different methods used today in the treatment of codeine addiction. Your treatment provider might utilise a combination of medication, traditional talking and behaviour therapies, and holistic treatments. A combined approach is preferable as it helps to treat the mind, body, and spirit of the affected person as a whole, instead of treating just the illness itself.

To help you overcome your addiction to codeine, your treatment provider of choice might use various medications during the detox and rehabilitation programmes. During detox, for example, medication might be used to reduce the severity of the withdrawal process and to ease any symptoms you do experience.

Medication can also be used on an ongoing basis, particularly if you are dealing with any mental health disorders at the same time as your addiction. In terms of traditional behavioural therapies, there are certainly plenty of options for your provider to choose from.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Commonly used in the treatment of opioid addiction as it helps you to identify any negative thoughts that may be driving your behaviour.

Dialectical behvaioural therapy (DBT)

The second most used therapy type which helps you find better ways to measure and outsource your fears and negative emotions.

When you are able to recognise these thoughts for what they are, you will then be in a better position to learn how to challenge them and eventually replace them with new learned alternatives. Other treatments that are used in addiction treatment include:

  • motivational enhancement therapy
  • acceptance and commitment therapy
  • contingency management
  • dialectical behaviour therapy
  • 12-step therapy
  • hypnotherapy
  • psychodynamic therapy
  • family therapy.

Holistic treatments are also becoming increasingly more popular in the addiction treatment arena because these can help to improve mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. This, in turn, can help to prevent a relapse by reducing cravings and stress. Examples of the types of holistic treatments used today in addiction treatment are:

  • massage
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • mindful fitness
  • acupuncture
  • acupressure
  • music therapy
  • art therapy.

The type of treatments used will depend on your requirements, personality, likes and dislikes, and the preferences of the treatment provider in question.

Inpatient Facilities vs. Outpatient Treatment

With a choice between inpatient and outpatient programmes, you might be wondering what the differences between the two are. Both types of programmes aim to help you deal with the issues that led to your behaviour and then to provide you with the skills and tools required for long-term sobriety.

They differ in how they are run and how intensive each is. Inpatient programmes are condensed over a period of a few weeks and therefore treatment is concentrated and very intensive. Outpatient programmes run over a much longer period with far fewer treatment hours needed each week.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient programmes in the UK tend to be provided by private clinics. They take place over the course of around four to six weeks, although some programmes may be longer if the needs of the patient are more complex.

The atmosphere and environment in an inpatient clinic are typically quiet and therapeutic. Patients leave their homes and move into the clinic for the duration of their treatment, following a set schedule every day that will include therapy, counselling, seminars, and workshops. There is also likely to be set times for things such as exercise and nutritional education.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient programmes, on the other hand, are less intensive and are run on a day care basis. This means that there is no need for the patient to reside at the facility and he or she will instead attend regular counselling while getting on with daily life.

Although those who choose to be treated in an outpatient programme must also deal with the temptations associated with normal everyday living, there are those who believe that this is one of the main advantages of outpatient programmes. They provide a true-to-life experience and mean that the transition to independent sober living is easier on completion of the programme.

Most outpatient programmes in the UK are provided by charity organisations and the NHS, but they are in high demand due to there being no charge. As such, most people will face a long wait before a place becomes available.

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Private Codeine Rehabs and Confidentiality

Confidentiality is obviously important to those being treated for addiction, and many will not want their details shared with others. You should know that private codeine rehabs view your details and information as extremely private and so you can rest assured that everything will be kept completely confidential.

Private clinics in the UK are typically overseen by the Care Quality Commission and so must adhere to certain standards. Keeping patients’ information confidential and complying with the Data Protection Act is one such requirement.

What is Residential Codeine Treatment

Residential codeine treatment is another name for an inpatient treatment programme. As described above, treatment takes place in a clinic where you will stay in a private or semi-private room for the duration of the programme.

The Role of Medications

Medication does play a significant role in helping you overcome your addiction to codeine. If your addiction is severe, you may be given a substitute opioid medication during the detox programme, which could be methadone or buprenorphine.

By taking a substitute opioid, the idea is that your withdrawal will be less severe, hence making it easier and more comfortable for you to break free from codeine. When another opioid is prescribed, it will act on the same brain receptors and allow you to reduce your dose of codeine with minimum impact. Once you have stopped taking codeine, your dose of the new opioid will be reduced until you are completely clean.

Other medications can also be used during codeine treatment. If your addiction is less severe and a substitute opioid is not deemed appropriate, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms that are similar to those experienced during the flu. These include fever, shakes, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Medication to relieve these symptoms might be prescribed to make you more comfortable.

The Role of Therapy

While medication can help to relieve any symptoms that you experience during the process, therapy is required to help you come to terms with the cause of your illness and to prevent it from returning in the future. Therapy will give you the tools you need to be able to identify the triggers and cues for your behaviour. You will learn more about yourself and your illness and will develop new and healthier ways of dealing with stressful life situations so that you can avoid a return of your addictive behaviour later.

The Use of Group Therapy in Codeine Addiction

Individual therapy is an important part of addiction recovery as it allows you to develop a healthy and trusting relationship with your therapist. During these sessions, you will discuss issues that are specific to you and your recovery.

Nevertheless, group therapy is also important, and it has been growing in popularity in recent times. As humans, we tend to congregate in groups and we do better in situations where we are interacting with others. Group therapy is an important part of addiction recovery as it allows you to share your stories and experiences with others going through a similar situation to yours.

Group therapy sessions take place in the presence of one or more therapists and a number of recovering addicts. The environment is supportive and compassionate, but members of the group are more likely to hold each other to account when needed. Negative thoughts and behaviours are challenged, which gives members the chance to see themselves through the eyes of others. It is widely accepted nowadays that group therapy is an essential part of the recovery process.

After Codeine Rehab

Codeine rehab programmes can last for weeks or for months, depending on the type of programme chosen. Contrary to popular belief though, the journey does not end when treatment finishes. In fact, recovery is an ongoing issue and it is helped with aftercare support.

Moving to independent sober living after a programme of either inpatient or outpatient rehab can be tough, and it is a time when most people are going to be susceptible to a relapse. It can be hard to adjust to life without the crutch of your rehab provider but thankfully this is not something you will be expected to do alone.

Most rehab providers offer aftercare support for a period of time once your programme has come to an end. You will also be encouraged to get involved with your local recovery community by joining a fellowship support group.

Never Too Late!

However long you have been abusing codeine, and no matter how severe you believe your problem to be, you should know that it is never too late to put your life back on the right path. You may be struggling to picture a future where you are not controlled by codeine, but it is entirely possible.

In a rehab programme that has been designed with your requirements in mind, you can learn how to overcome this destructive illness for good. You do not have to continue living your life under the weight of addiction because help is available.

The sooner you access help for addiction, the sooner you can look forward to a new and healthier life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during codeine rehab?

When you begin a treatment programme for codeine rehab, you can look forward to learning more about your illness and why you have been affected. A big part of rehab is about dealing with the underlying issues that may have contributed to your addictive behaviour. It is important that these issues are identified and addressed so that you can move on.

Rehab will also help you to learn the positive ways that you can deal with the stresses of daily life. You will learn about the temptations and cues that trigger your behaviour so that you can avoid them, and you will learn new methods for dealing with any cravings that might occur.

How long does codeine rehab last?

Codeine rehab programmes can last for weeks or months, depending on whether these are inpatient or outpatient based. Most inpatient programmes run for between four and six weeks but can continue for up to twelve weeks if you need more complex treatment. Longer programmes tend to be required for those dealing with more than one type of addiction or those with an addiction coupled with a mental health disorder.

Outpatient programmes run for much longer because they are far less intensive. Instead of having many hours of treatment every day as you would in an inpatient programme, you might have just a few hours of treatment each week in an outpatient setting.

Codeine Rehab: Away from home or not?

The question of where to have codeine treatment is an important one. Weighing up your preferences with needs is crucial. Some people want to stay at home while they are going through rehabilitation because they want to be around those they love. In this case, an outpatient programme is preferable.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that not everyone will benefit from an outpatient scenario. There are others who would struggle to stay clean and sober if they were surrounded by the stresses and triggers of everyday life. For these individuals then, inpatient programmes are the wiser choice. The secure and structured environment of an inpatient programme means that there is no choice but to focus on treatment and getting well.

Why seek help for codeine addiction?

As with almost every other type of addiction, codeine addiction is unlikely to go away without treatment. Those who are affected may hope that by doing nothing, their situation will somehow resolve itself, but this is not likely.
If you are affected by codeine addiction, getting help sooner rather than later is important. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can get your life back on track and the sooner you can start living a healthy life again.

What other options exist for someone who cannot afford treatment?

Private addiction treatment can be expensive and the thoughts of paying for a private programme often prevents some people from reaching out for help. Many believe that addiction rehab is only accessible to those with plenty of money. This is not the case.
In the UK, free programmes are available for those struggling with addiction and are provided by the NHS, charities, and local support groups. To find out more about your options, you can check online information databases or speak to your doctor.

What factors into the cost of addiction treatment?

Addiction treatment provided by private clinics varies in price. The level of luxury of the clinic, the reputation of the provider, and the length of the programme all play a role in how much you end up paying for treatment.
You may find that a smaller, intimate clinic with more one-on-one care is dearer than a larger facility with high numbers of staff and can accommodate many more patients at one time.

Am I addicted to codeine?

It is difficult to know if you are physically dependent on codeine or if you have an addiction. If you have never tried to quit, you are unlikely to have even considered the possibility that you have an addiction until a loved one raised the issue.
What you should know is that if someone you love has suggested you may have a problem, it is likely that your use of codeine has been affecting your behaviour. A physical dependence is signified by the presence of withdrawal symptoms when the effects of codeine wear off.

If you are addicted, you will probably feel a compelling urge to use codeine and will be unable to quit even if you want to. You may also find that your use of the drug is affecting your ability to live a normal life as well as it having a negative impact on your relationships. Despite all of this, you will continue to use the drug if you are addicted because you will be powerless to resist.

Why do people start taking codeine?

Codeine use usually begins with a prescription from a doctor. Codeine is used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain and can be a very effective treatment when used as prescribed. There are others, however, who will deliberately take codeine for its sedative and euphoric effects.

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