Codeine Addiction

Codeine is an opioid pain reliever used to treat mild to moderately severe pain, as well as to suppress or even end chronic coughing. Codeine is available as a single-ingredient product, in combination with acetaminophen or aspirin, and in most prescribed cough and cold medications.

The World Health Organization claims that codeine is the most widely and commonly used opiate in the world. It is also considered the “least addictive and safest” of all prescribed opiate medications. It should be remembered however that being the least addictive and safest doesn’t mean codeine is not addictive or entirely safe. In fact, just like other opiates, people can become physically and mentally addicted after extended and repeated use.

Codeine’s semblance of safety has led to many problems that could have been avoided by being more precautious about its use. Codeine is metabolized in the body and becomes morphine. Some bodies break down codeine much faster than the average. They’re known as “ultra-rapid metabolizers.” And for them codeine can be especially dangerous.

It needs to be remembered that the risks of codeine are the same as all opiates. And so are the side effects.

Codeine may be considered the safest and least addictive opioid.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t addictive or dangerous.


Don’t Let Codeine Wreck Your World.
Call ALEF Now.

Codeine Side Effects


Codeine can produce serious adverse side effects, including respiratory depression and, to a lesser degree, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock, and even cardiac arrest.

Other side effects to codeine use include:
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
Other more adverse reactions include allergic reactions, euphoria, dysphoria, abdominal pain, and pruritis.

Codeine Abuse


The history of the use of codeine wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that it is used by many as a “recreational” drug. In fact, many people use codeine simply to get a “buzz” or get high. That’s especially true with codeine-based cough medicine, which is widely abused and has been responsible for many overdoses and deaths, including that of rapper “Pimp C” from the rap group UGK, who overdosed and died from “syrup” aka “purple drank” aka “sizzurp.”

Many countries throughout the world employ narcotic control laws to regulate the use of codeine. Some countries, however, do allow for its purchase over-the-counter without a prescription, which can more easily lead to abuse and addiction. Remember, codeine is an opiate, the same as is morphine and heroin, and the regular use of this drug will cause physical, as well as emotional and/or mental addiction.

One of the biggest problems with codeine is the perception that it is mild and not a danger like other notorious opiates like heroin. This is only partly true.

Regular use of cough syrups or other elixirs that contain codeine are as dangerous as regular use of Oxycontin or any other opiate. Sure, it might take a longer period of continual use to become addicted to codeine, but the difference stops there. Once addicted, the road back to a pre-codeine normalcy is at once arduous and painful. It also usually requires professional rehabilitation. Consumers need always to be aware of codeine’s inherent risks.

Don’t Let Codeine Addiction Ruin You.
Call ALEF For Help.


ALEF is fully committed to effectively treating codeine addiction. And we’re proud to be at the forefront of the fight against opioid use disorder (OUD).

Codeine - Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Centers