What is Codeine?

Many people recognise codeine for its use in treating mild to moderate pain. This opiate drug is either prescribed by a doctor or can be obtained – in lower dosages – over the counter (think Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, etc.). However, there are many saying that codeine should not be available over the counter at all.

Codeine is given when other painkillers just won’t do. However there is growing evidence that many people are becoming too reliant on codeine.

Codeine is generally found in syrup or tablet form. However, some people, intent on misusing codeine, will crush the tablets so they can snort or inject it. Codeine tablets can cost £1 a tablet on the black market.

What Are The Risks Of Using Codeine Prescriptions?

The problem with codeine is when it’s used more than the recommended amount to get a more powerful effect. In fact, it can cause fatalities when taking more than prescribed or advised.

Medications with codeine warn of the possibility of addiction and advise users not to use it for more than three days without talking to a doctor first.  What other issues should arise from taking prescriptions with codeine in it?

Codeine can really wreak havoc on your body, but how so? Why is it so dangerous to use?

  • The drug can cause your blood pressure to drop and hinder normal breathing. It also raises the chance for respiratory arrest (not breathing at all). If you’re taking an excessive amount of medicine with codeine in it, it can lead to an overdose and possibly death. Do not use drink alcohol and take opiate drugs, as this can be a fatal combination.
  • When you take an excessive amount of codeine (using a tablet with codeine then using a painkiller with the ingredient), there’s a possibility of experiencing serious side effects from the painkiller drug. While normal doses don’t generate side effects, overdoses can cause an array of problems – liver failure, kidney failure, stomach bleeding, etc.
  • Opiates, when used during pregnancy, can cause new babies to experience withdrawal symptoms.

What Kinds Of Effects Does Codeine Generate?

Codeine’s effects are similar to other opiates you can be prescribed. While codeine’s effects can be beneficial in treating pain, the drug also comes with a number of potential side effects. These side effects can range from mild to severe and can impact a person’s overall well-being.

One of the most commonly reported side effects of codeine is drowsiness. The drug can make people feel sleepy and lethargic, which can be especially concerning for people who need to be alert and focused throughout the day. This can be particularly problematic for people who need to drive or operate heavy machinery.

In addition to drowsiness, codeine can also cause other cognitive side effects, such as confusion and mood swings. These changes in mood and mental state can be particularly challenging for people who are already dealing with stress or anxiety.

Codeine can also cause physical side effects, such as constipation, dry mouth, and itching. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, but they are generally not considered to be life-threatening.

Nausea and vomiting are also commonly reported side effects of codeine. These symptoms can be particularly problematic for people who are already dealing with gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.

Finally, codeine can cause appetite loss, which can be a concern for people who are trying to manage other health conditions, such as diabetes or malnutrition.

While codeine can be an effective pain management tool, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects before taking this medication. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action. It may be necessary to adjust your dosage or switch to a different medication altogether. By working closely with your healthcare provider, you can find a pain management plan that works best for you.

Addiction Is A Real Possibility With Codeine

Codeine is highly addictive, especially if abused.  It can generate cravings and the desire to continue using it. The body builds an intolerance to it, which means users have to take more and more to get the same effects they used to get at lower doses. If they fail to do this, they can experience a withdrawal. What are the common symptoms of opiate withdrawal?

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nervous tremors
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating

The Law Regarding Codeine Use

Codeine is classified as Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act. You cannot legally have, sell or give away in drug with codeine in it. Codeine is only available through a prescription, and if you’re found to illegally possess codeine-containing drugs, you could spend up to five years in jail and face a steep fine.

If you’re found to have distributed codeine, even to friends, you can spend up to 14 years behind bars and be subjected to a huge fine.

A drug-related conviction could hinder your ability to travel to certain countries and ability to get certain kinds of jobs.

If you’re caught driving under the influence of medicines with codeine in it, you could face a steep fine, have your license revoked and spend time in jail or prison for the offence.

Codeine Drug Testing Kits

Zoom Testing can supply reliable and accurate solutions for detecting the presence of morphine in urine. Codeine, an opioid commonly used as a painkiller in both adults and children, is known for its morphine-activating properties. The Zoom Testing Morphine Test Kit is a simple, fast, and efficient way to detect the presence of codeine in the urine of those who have ingested it.

As one of the top UK drug testing kit suppliers, Zoom Testing is committed to providing high-quality drug testing kits for personal or professional use. Each kit is CE marked and FDA approved, ensuring an accuracy level of 99%.

Using the urine drug test cassette is easy; just remove the test from the foil pouch, and using the pipette provided, drop four drops of urine sample into the sample well. Results will appear within 1-5 minutes, making it a convenient option for use at home or in the workplace.

The test sensitivity is 300ng/mL, which complies with the European Workplace Drug Testing Society (EWDTS) guidelines. Its reliability and accuracy make it an ideal option for employers, healthcare professionals, and individuals to detect drug usage.

Zoom Testing understand the importance of privacy, which is why all tests are delivered in plain packaging, ensuring maximum discretion.

Photo by Zoom Testing

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated since.

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