Statistics show that the abuse of Codeine costs the USA billions of dollars each year. This figure takes into account the cost of healthcare, traffic accidents, general crime, lost wages and the amount of money which has to be spent on the criminal justice system.
Although Codeine is available by prescription only in some parts of the world, in other countries it's available to buy over the counter from a drugstore. This makes it far more accessible for people who have become dependent on the drug.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have recorded figures which show that between 10% and 22% of drivers who have been involved in traffic accidents have been regularly taking codeine. In fact, both addiction and prescription use equates to nearly half of all major crimes in the USA.
These codeine statistics clearly show that use of this drug needs to be more carefully monitored. Unfortunately, the majority of Codeine users don't even realize that they have developed a dependency on this drug until they begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms or perhaps notice that their usual dose is not having the same effect as it once did.
People who are dependent on the drug can become fixated on obtaining more codeine because the dose that they normally take is not having the same effect. This would involve addicts visiting numerous pharmacies to stock up. Unfortunately, the more a person takes, the higher their tolerance becomes. In short, a smaller dose will not satisfy their bodies and they will need to take larger amounts.
Medical research shows that if Codeine is taken in more than a 400mg dose then the liver cannot cope and health will suffer as a result. Overuse of Codeine can cause many unpleasant side effects such as insomnia, constipation and bleeding of the stomach. Codeine may cause bladder retention which can lead to urinary tract infections as well as low libido which may have a negative effect on any relationship.
If a person chooses to stop taking Codeine or is told by a medical professional to stop, they can expect some serious withdrawal symptoms. A patient may experience a decreased appetite and may notice radical weight loss. During the night, cold sweats and insomnia could occur which would inevitably cause fatigue during the day. Because Codeine is an opiate, withdrawal may also include violent mood swings, dryness of the mouth and paranoia.
The sensible action to take to deal with any unpleasant withdrawal symptoms would be to first speak to a doctor who can perhaps refer patients to cognitive behavioral therapist, who would talk through your problems and advise how to overcome difficulties without resorting to further drugs.
Because Codeine is an opiate it has a similar structure to morphine and so it has the potential to become a drug which can lead to addiction. With this in mind, it's far better to approach pain in a more holistic way so that the body is not being pumped full of chemicals. When pain first strikes it's more sensible to visit a physical therapist that can identify where the pain is coming from and use massage and manipulation techniques to ease the pain. It's too easy for people to pop a pill these days and that's why addiction is so common in society.
There are also various inexpensive supplements available which naturally help with pain. Things like cod liver oil and glucosamine could actually help to keep joints, bones and muscles supple and healthy which would take away the need for pain killing pills. Alternatively trying heat pads or ice packs to give comfort and ease aches, could be a solution to relieving pain. If your pain emanates from your back, then perhaps you could consider changing the type of mattress that you sleep on so that your body is being properly supported as you sleep.
Given that Codeine is made by extracting a certain part of a poppy head just like morphine and heroin, it's sensible to approach codeine with caution. Most people associate morphine with hospital care for conditions such as cancer victims of a serious car crash. Heroin is viewed by most with great distaste and conjures up desperate images of emaciated people with syringes.
If doctors prescribe Codeine, people need to take a step back and question this judgement rather than just accepting the drug and taking it. Yes it can help to ease pain if taken correctly and closely monitored by a medical professional. However, it's not the only way to cure pain, and people would do well to seek a less harmful alternative way to deal with chronic pain.