Is Codeine Rehab Effective?

Codeine is a widely prescribed and easily accessible medication in the United States. It’s often used for relieving moderate pain, and it’s also an ingredient in cough syrup. Despite its effectiveness, codeine is habit-forming, so you risk developing an addiction if you use it for a prolonged period.

Codeine is also abused as a recreational drug. Lean, for example, is a concoction of codeine-containing cough syrup mixed with soda. Some users abuse cough syrups on their own as well. When you use codeine this way, it’s a lot easier to get addicted.

If you suffer from an addiction to this drug, codeine rehab is in order. Rehab is a good way to get back to a drug-free lifestyle. Read on to learn how effective rehab is.

Why should I go to a codeine rehab center for treatment?

If you have a serious case of codeine addiction, you can maximize recovery outcomes when you relocate to a rehab center. This gives you a different environment where you can focus on staying drug-free. This kind of codeine rehab is called inpatient or residential treatment. For anywhere between 30 to 90 days, depending on your rehab program, you will be a resident of the rehab center. Your needs will be taken care of during your stay.

Before you move to a rehab center, addiction recovery professionals will assess your condition. They will interview you to get the following information:

  • Codeine RehabWhen you started taking codeine
  • How much codeine you take each time
  • If you take other substances along with codeine
  • If you have any mental health issues alongside the addiction
  • If you have a family history of substance abuse
  • Your current state of physical health

It’s important to answer the interview truthfully. Accurate information will help the recovery professionals create a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs well.

After you’ve had your initial assessment, you can go to the rehab center for the first stage of treatment, which is medically-assisted detox.

What does medically-assisted detox do?

If you have become addicted to codeine, it will be difficult to stop taking the drug. The moment you try to quit, withdrawal symptoms will show up. They can become so uncomfortable that you would rather take codeine again than endure them. The vicious cycle of trying to quit, entering withdrawal, then using again makes quitting exceptionally hard.

Here are some examples of those withdrawal symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold flashes
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors

Helping you quit codeine safely is where medically-assisted detox comes in. The goal of detox is to rid your body of all traces of codeine while managing withdrawal symptoms. Medical staff will monitor you during the whole process, ensuring that you remain as safe and comfortable as possible.

Cold turkey vs. tapering off

Codeine RehabQuitting codeine “cold turkey” is not recommended. Doing so can produce serious complications like excessive vomiting and dehydration. For this reason, medical staff will “taper” you off of codeine to make the process of quitting safer.

Tapering means your dose will be decreased gradually until it reaches zero. With this, your body will have time to adjust to the decreasing amount of codeine. It will not be “shocked” by the sudden absence of the drug. As a result, withdrawal symptoms will be more easily manageable.


If you have a relatively severe case of codeine addiction, even tapering off may produce unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The medical team may prescribe a few medications to ease your pain.

The most common one is called Suboxone, a combination drug that contains naloxone and buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved medication for treating substance use disorders involving opiates like codeine. Specifically, it helps reduce cravings for codeine. Naloxone, on the other hand, helps out by blocking the effects of codeine. It’s also helpful in cases of overdose.

To avoid becoming addicted to your medications, the medical staff will carefully control your dose. Once you are okay, they will stop giving you medications. That way, you can continue with your recovery and not end up with a substitute addiction.

What happens during inpatient codeine rehab?

Codeine RehabEnrolling in an inpatient treatment program is recommended. It lasts for 30 to 90 days, depending on your case. The more severe your addiction is, the longer your stay will have to be. Throughout your stay, you will receive constant daily therapies. In the environment of a rehab center, you get uninterrupted care, plus you are away from drug triggers and the stresses of the outside world.

Inpatient codeine rehab often begins with medically-assisted detox, which can last for a few days. After that, you will go through a range of behavioral therapies designed to undo the psychological damage done by drug use.

You will acquire skills that let you live a drug-free lifestyle through individual therapies, group therapies, support groups, and recreational activities. All of these will be part of your daily routine in rehab. The aim is for you to adopt healthy habits and means of coping with negative emotions.

Different rehab centers will also have various amenities for your recreation. Amenities like swimming pools, spas, and sports facilities tend to be available in more costly rehab centers.

What happens after I finish rehab?

It’s a good idea to have ongoing treatment after you’ve completed your rehab program. This is known as aftercare, and it is key to ensure your continuous recovery.

When it’s time to reintegrate into society, you may run into past temptations. Without support, your risk of relapse is high. But if you have an aftercare program in place, you have a support system that can help you stay sober for life.

How can I find a rehab center near me?

If you’re prepared to do what it takes to deal with your codeine addiction, consider enrolling in a rehab program. Get in touch with your primary care doctor or a mental health professional near you to discuss your options.

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