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Codeine Detox Centers

Medically Reviewed By: Benjamin Caleb Williams RN, BA, CEN

Written By: Gary Bowers

Article Updated: 01/24/2021

With the help of codeine detox centers, it is possible to live a life free from addiction. Understanding when a detox center would be recommended, and what to expect while going through detox will be helpful in ‘setting the stage’ before arrival. This guide will help you navigate this important step in recovery.

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When is a Codeine Detox Center Recommended?

Withdrawal from codeine can result in a long list of uncomfortable symptoms. Codeine is an opioid drug and prolonged or excessive use can result in many complications and health concerns. No matter how serious the problem is, codeine detox centers do offer significant advantages over self-care options.

Here are some factors that should be considered when deciding on whether or not to seek professional assistance in codeine detox:

Pre-Existing Health Conditions

Detox from codeine can result in painful and sometimes dangerous symptoms. Anyone with pre-existing health problems should strongly consider a codeine detox center. Diabetes, cardiovascular (heart-related) disorders, liver, and kidney disease are all conditions that can be affected during codeine detox. Medical monitoring can help prevent further medical complications.

Underlying Mental Health Issues

Detox from codeine can be challenging mentally, and depression and anxiety are very common symptoms. For anyone who has an underlying mental illness, the stress of detox can create additional complications. Codeine detox centers will have medical and psychiatric staff on-site to support mental wellness. Additionally, the therapy offered can help assist in the healing and recovery process.

Poly-Substance Abuse

It can be very difficult to stop using codeine. The use of other drugs is quite common in cases of codeine addiction and can complicate the recovery process. Codeine detox centers will be prepared to accept the challenge of treating substance use disorder for multiple drugs. Experienced staff will be able to treat all symptoms, both mental and physical.

There is no way to predict exactly how someone’s body will respond during codeine detox. Accepting help from the professionals at a codeine detox center can help ensure safe and lasting recovery. In addition to the care provided by these centers, they will also have access to a network of treatment and resources that can assist in the recovery process moving forward.

The Intake Process

The intake process is a major milestone in recovery. Prompt, safe, and effective care can make a monumental difference in the success of detox. The primary purpose of the intake process is to gather as much information as possible so that treatment can begin. Intake processes may vary from location to location, but the goal is always the same: enable healing as quickly as possible.

Here is a general guide of what to expect from the intake process:

  • Check-In: During check-in, the staff will begin collecting insurance and personal information. There will be forms to complete and documents to sign.
  • Health Assessment: The staff will begin gathering information about the patient through medical assessment and verbal interviews. The medical assessments will typically involve a check of vital signs and routine blood toxicology tests. Verbal interviews would help the staff understand the patient better. Information gathered would usually include:
    • Medical History: Understanding the medical history of the patient will be a critical component of effective care. During codeine detox, the body will be going through significant changes as it seeks to regain balance.
    • Mental Health History: Questions will be asked to assess the mental health history of the patient. This can prepare both the staff and the patient for the difficult challenges that lie ahead.
    • Drug Use History: It will be critical for the codeine detox center staff to understand the extent of codeine and other drug use. The staff may ask for details regarding the amounts used, the frequency of use, and the duration of use.

The more the staff knows about the patient, the better care they can provide. Additional information may be collected to help facilitate treatment as necessary.

  • Initiate Treatment: Treatment will begin as soon as possible. The first step will be to stabilize the patient and address the most urgent medical needs first. The first symptoms of codeine withdrawal will appear about 24-48 hours after the last dose. Working on this timeline, the staff can also begin preparing for the upcoming challenge of treating all the symptoms of codeine withdrawal.

Medical Monitoring of Codeine Detox Related Dangers

Medical monitoring offered by codeine detox centers is an essential component of the care received while going through the pain of withdrawal. 24/7 observation, in addition to regular visits by medical and psychiatric staff, will help ensure safety. The symptoms of codeine detox are unavoidable and they may vary in intensity based on the extent of codeine abuse. Receiving care during this time isn’t only the safe thing to do, it can assist in building a better future in recovery.

Doctors and medical staff will monitor and treat the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Night Sweats
  • Body aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Flu-like symptoms

The most dangerous symptoms would be vomiting and diarrhea (risk of dehydration) and high blood pressure (risk of stroke). These symptoms would be monitored very closely to prevent serious complications. In addition to the physical symptoms, there are often psychological symptoms that could benefit from monitoring and treatment as well.

Some psychological symptoms that medical professionals at a codeine detox center can help treat may include:

  • Depression (possibly including suicidal ideation)
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability and mood swings

In the end, choosing safety should always be a priority. The professionals at codeine detox centers are here to help!

Codeine Withdrawal Timeline

Medications Used By Codeine Detox Centers

Effectively treating codeine withdrawal will likely require medications. When used as prescribed, medications can help restore and repair the damage done by codeine use. The medications prescribed will vary from person to person, but this list will give you a glimpse of the most commonly used medications.

It’s also important to point out that these medications may only need to be used on a short term basis.

  • Blood Pressure Medications: Blood pressure medications are a valuable tool in treating the symptoms of codeine withdrawal. During codeine detox, blood pressure will spike, which can have dangerous consequences if not treated. Many blood pressure medications such as clonidine, can also help reduce anxiety and promote better sleep.
  • Anti-Anxiety and Antidepressants: There are many medications that all under this category. The medical and psychiatric staff at codeine detox centers will carefully consider the many factors that could alter the medication choice in this category. Pre-existing mental illness and medical history will be considered. Medications used to treat acute anxiety may fall under different classifications, but many of the medications in this group will treat the brain chemistry that is responsible for mood regulation. The most common medications affect serotonin in the brain. Well-known brand names include Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft.
  • Sleep Aids: Sleep disturbances are common during codeine detox. Medications can be used on a short-term basis to restore the quality of sleep. Depending on the extent of the problem, doctors may prescribe antihistamines or more powerful sleep medications such as zolpidem (Ambien). Most sleep medications would be used on a short term basis until natural restful sleep resumes.
  • Non-Narcotic Pain Relief: Codeine detox will be a painful experience. Body aches, joint pain, and headaches are common symptoms and will be experienced during the detox process. Non-narcotic pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen will be used to treat pain.

Therapy During Codeine Detox

Therapy offered during codeine detox will have a significant impact on the quality of life in recovery. Therapy can make a difference by addressing many of the underlying factors that can lead to addiction. Through active involvement in various forms of therapy, patients in codeine detox can learn skills that can help them remain free from addiction. Communication skills, conflict resolution, risk reduction, and decision-making skills can all be addressed in therapy.

Here are some different forms of therapy offered in codeine detox centers:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the most frequently used forms of talk therapy in the world. CBT is evidence-based and diverse in how it can address the issues surrounding addiction. During codeine detox, CBT can help by uncovering underlying factors that can lead to poor choices. Belief in the ability to change is central to successful treatment. By focusing on the connection between thoughts and attitudes, and how they lead to behaviors and actions, CBT can produce changes that lead to happier lives and better choices.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is an effective method of ongoing treatment for codeine use. Group therapy most likely features elements of CBT. When conducted in a group setting, therapy can be structured in a variety of ways that allow the therapist to incorporate practice and skill mastery techniques. Group therapy also helps break down the stigma and isolation that will often accompany substance use disorder.

12 Step Programs

12 step programs have been helping people recover from substance use disorder for over 70 years. 12-step programs are led by peers – people who themselves are in recovery. Peer to peer support can have a tremendous impact on those recovering from substance use disorder 12-step programs are free to join, and meetings are held in cities and towns across the world. What makes 12-step programs so effective? The exact reasons may be elusive and may vary from person to person, but by believing in a power greater than yourself, nurturing your relationship with a higher power, and remaining committed to service work are key components.

Continuing Codeine Addiction Treatment

Following codeine detox, the next step in recovery is often to continue with treatment at a dedicated treatment facility. Codeine detox is just the beginning. Ongoing treatment will continue to support the recovery process. Outpatient treatment can be an ideal option because it offers intensive care and therapy with flexibility. Treatment plans at outpatient centers can range from 30 to 90 days on average but may last for a year or longer, depending on the patient’s needs. When combined with support groups and involvement with 12 step programs, outpatient treatment can make a lifelong impact on recovery.

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