Codeine Withdrawal and Detox

Withdrawal from codeine can be very uncomfortable if symptoms go untreated. A medically assisted detox program can help codeine users overcome their addiction safely.

What is Codeine Withdrawal?

Insomnia is a symptom of withdrawal from codeine. Codeine is a highly addictive opiate painkiller. As a user’s tolerance to the drug builds up, they’ll need higher doses of codeine to feel its effects. After prolonged abuse, users can become physically and psychologically dependent on codeine.

Just like other opiates, codeine use prompts changes in the body’s central nervous system and brain chemistry. Over time, the brain becomes dependent on the drug and is unable to function correctly without it. If a dependent user stops taking codeine, withdrawal will set in as their body relearns how to function without the drug.

Codeine withdrawal symptoms will vary by person, as will the severity and duration of the withdrawal process.

Get started on the road to recovery.
sidebar_cta_img

Symptoms of Withdrawal

Although codeine is less habit-forming than other painkillers, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, users can still develop an addiction to the drug. Codeine addicts—especially those with severe addictions—may begin to feel the effects of withdrawal within a few hours after taking their last dose.

Codeine withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other opiates. Codeine withdrawal can be quite uncomfortable, producing symptoms that are usually moderate in severity.

Common symptoms of codeine withdrawal include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Cravings

While the withdrawal symptoms alone are not typically life-threatening, there’s always a chance that symptoms will get worse. For example, if not treated properly, dehydration can lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal health complications. It’s best to err on the side of caution and find a medical detox program.

Duration of Withdrawal

Symptoms of codeine withdrawal can present in as little as a few hours from the user’s last dose.

The duration of withdrawal varies by individual, but the worst physical symptoms usually last for about a week.

The psychological symptoms of withdrawal, such as depression, can last for months after a user quits.

The user’s method of detox will play a role in the duration of withdrawal. Quitting “cold turkey” is the quickest way to rid the body of codeine. A taper method can take weeks or even months, but it’s usually the recommended method.

Background image

Ready to get help?

Don’t waste another second. Enter your number to receive a call from a compassionate treatment expert.
Don’t waste another second. Call now to speak with a compassionate treatment expert.

    Codeine Withdrawal Timeline

    Days 1-4During the first four days of withdrawal, physical symptoms peak. User may experience muscle pain, nausea, insomnia, restless legs, headaches, sweating, diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms are usually very intense during the first few days.
    Days 5-7During this period, most physical symptoms begin to fade. Psychological symptoms, such as depression, set in. Users might be dehydrated due to excessive sweating, diarrhea or lack of fluid intake during the first few days of withdrawal.
    Days 8-30Almost all codeine withdrawal symptoms should be over by this point, but depression may remain. Depression and codeine cravings can last for months after a user quits.

    Codeine Detox

    While quitting cold turkey can speed up the detox process, it can also make it more difficult. Abruptly quitting codeine typically produces very intense withdrawal symptoms, including extreme cravings.

    Because quitting cold turkey is very physically and psychologically stressful, users are advised to detox under the supervision of a doctor.

    Another option is to taper off drug use. Tapering off codeine involves slowly limiting the amount of the drug taken each day. The user will gradually adapt to having less of the drug in their system, so the withdrawal is much less severe. Tapering off codeine can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This method is usually recommended over quitting cold turkey and should be monitored by a physician.

    Opiate substitutes, such as methadone or suboxone, may be used in place of codeine to taper off use. These drugs help calm codeine cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, but they can also be addictive if not used properly. These substitutes should not be used without medical supervision.

    “I slept for two days! Then the struggle kicked in, but it was so worth it. [I detoxed for] seven days.”

    - Rickie, in recovery from codeine and other drugs
    See how Jerry
    overcame his
    addiction.
    Jerry Lawson sitting in a chair

    Treatment for Codeine Addiction

    Detox is the first step when it comes to overcoming a codeine addiction. Codeine users should detox in a medical environment to safely manage withdrawal symptoms. Many inpatient rehabs and outpatient treatment programs offer medical detox services for codeine users.

    For help finding a treatment program that fits your needs, please contact us today.

    Get help today

    Don't go through the process of recovery alone. Get in touch with someone who can help.

      Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

      (855) 400-5261

      Take control of your life

      Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

      • Access to top treatment centers
      • Caring, supportive guidance
      • Financial assistance options

      Call now:

      (855) 400-5261

      OR

      Have us call you:

        Where do calls go?

        Callers will be routed to:

        • Delphi Behavioral Health Group
        • Beach House Recovery Center

        A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. To learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing, click here.