Codeine Addiction Symptoms
The codeine addiction symptoms are most apparent when an addict’s supply of the drug is insufficient to stave off withdrawal. Withdrawal is a consequence of a physical codeine addiction symptoms can emerge as soon as six hours after the last dose. They are called physical (as opposed to mental), because they have a biological basis directly related to not having enough codeine in the body.
The most prominent physical codeine addiction symptoms of withdrawal are excessive yawning, diarrhea and insomnia. Insomnia is coupled with a low energy level. If the codeine was being used to fight pain or suppress coughing, these will come back – sometimes worse than the original problem. Joint pain and a general feeling of aching can also occur. Those who have undergone codeine withdraw describe these codeine addiction symptoms as similar to a bad case of the flu. For some, nausea is also a problem. Critically, all physical codeine addiction symptoms will disappear if the drug is taken again. This distinguishes true withdrawal from other conditions.
Along with the physical codeine addiction symptoms, there are mental changes. These are more varied, depending on the person who has the addiction. Generally, most will feel anxious and depressed. Some will have what are called, “racing thoughts.” The picture is someone who cannot sleep (insomnia) but is fatigued. They lie in bed and, with eyes closed, have a cyclical and disturbing round of recurrent thoughts that are unresolved. Irritability is common.
Another key mental event that indicates addiction to codeine is a craving to get more. This can occur, not just during withdrawal, but whenever the supply of codeine is threatened. Addicts will commonly obsess about where they will get their next dose and whether they have a ready supply. They sometimes begin to schedule their life around using and obtaining more of the drug. Users will also worry about how much they are taking and whether or not they can “really quit.”
There are a few other, odd codeine addiction symptoms that can happen with codeine addiction. Restless leg syndrome is the inability to stop moving the legs when relaxed (typically while lying in bed to sleep). This strange twitching and movement of the legs is quite upsetting, but hard to describe to someone who hasn’t experienced it. Addicts withdrawing may also feel as if they had bugs crawling on them or unnatural itching.