Co codamol is an over-the-counter and prescription opioid which is used to treat pain. Although it can be effective in treating painful conditions, long term use and consuming co-codamol in larger quantities than recommended can cause an addiction to develop.
Learn more about co-codamol addiction and how you can get addicted to co codamol here.
What is Co Codamol?
Co-codamol is a painkiller drug which contains both codeine and paracetamol. This combination is designed to provide more effective pain relief than either of these drugs alone and is used as a painkiller for moderate painful conditions such as back pain, migraines, toothaches, and muscle pains.
Co-codamol can be bought over the counter in supermarkets and pharmacies in lower doses, and stronger medications can be prescribed by a doctor for people suffering from acute pain. The drug is typically used by people who find that common painkillers such as Ibuprofen or Paracetamol are not helping to ease pain.
Pain is relieved by consuming co-codamol due to the two painkillers it consists of. Paracetamol blocks the chemical messengers in the brain that cause us to experience pain, and codeine works by targeting the pain receptors in the central nervous system and the brain which then blocks pain signals to the rest of the body.
This combination of pain medication makes co codamol an effective painkiller, although you can become addicted to co codamol or develop other painkiller addictions if they are not consumed as recommended.
Is Co Codamol Addictive?
Co codamol can be addictive if consumed in large quantities, for long periods of time, or abused (such as snorting or injecting). When taking co-codamol, it is important to stick to the recommended dose and not consume more than advised, even if you feel as though it isn’t treating your pain.
Although it is widely believed that prescribed drugs are not addictive as they are provided by medical professionals, opioids can become very addictive if not used correctly and in safe doses.
This is why it is important to spot the signs and symptoms of co-codamol addiction if you or somebody you know is using the drug.
Signs of Co Codamol Addiction
Whilst it can be a safe and effective treatment for painful conditions, you can get addicted to co codamol if it is consumed incorrectly. The signs of co-codamol addiction can vary from person to person, but often include:
- Withdrawal symptoms when not consuming the drug, such as feeling agitated, restless, experiencing anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and shaking.
- Feeling reliant on co-codamol to complete daily tasks.
- The continuing consumption of co-codamol even when not experiencing pain.
- Using large doses of co-codamol.
- Hiding use from close relatives.
Signs of Co-codamol Abuse
Although it can be safe if instructions are followed, this prescription drug may be abused if an addiction has developed which is why it is important to know the signs of addiction.
Addiction to co-codamol can be hard to spot in some people who have slowly become dependent on it, whereas others may abuse the drug to experience the desired effects.
Some common signs of co-codamol abuse and addictive behaviour include:
- Crushing co-codamol tablets to feel the effects faster.
- Visiting multiple pharmacies/supermarkets to stock up large quantities.
- Dependency on the drug to carry out daily tasks.
- Using co-codamol for longer than recommended.
- Buying co-codamol illegally or manipulating others to buy on their behalf.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the painkiller.
Why is Co Codamol Addictive?
Co-codamol contains the opioid codeine, which is a drug that can become very addictive. This is because over time, the body becomes tolerant to the drug, and it may become less effective at treating pain. This is a common way that co-codamol addiction develops as people may consume more than recommended or for longer periods of time than suggested to benefit from the painkiller effects.
Some people also feel like they rely on painkillers such as co-codamol to manage everyday pain. People who experience chronic migraines or struggle with conditions such as long term back pain are more likely to use opioid drugs such as co-codamol for long periods of time to manage pain.
If signs of co-codamol addiction have developed, a doctor will create a withdrawal plan from the drug which will take place slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms. An alternative which is safer and more effective may then be prescribed to help treat moderate painful conditions.
Dangers of Long Term Use of Co Codamol
As well as the risk of co codamol addiction, there are other dangers associated with long term use of co codamol. If prescribed by a doctor, you should take the medication for as long as it has been prescribed and recommended by your doctor.
For over-the-counter co codamol, you should not consume the drug for longer than 3 consecutive days without speaking to a doctor.
Some of the side effects of co-codamol include constipation, feeling nauseous, sleepy, and dizziness. This is why it is important to seek medical advice before and during consumption of painkillers.
Treatment for Co-codamol Addiction
Treatment may be required if a co-codamol addiction has developed. This can be via a doctor or GP who may create a withdrawal plan, or if addiction to the drug is severe, professional addiction treatment may be required.
Private rehab centres can offer medically assisted detox and therapy treatments to help those who have developed a co-codamol addiction recover and stay sober. It is important to understand the risks of co codamol use and understand that you can get addicted to co codamol before using it for the first time.
Co codamol can be a very beneficial drug for pain management and can be safe to use if guidelines are followed and use is discontinued if signs of addiction occur.
If an addiction to the painkiller has developed, seeking professional treatment is the best way to recover. To learn more about available treatments and the risks of co-codamol addiction, get in touch today by phone on 0151 268 6992 or by filling out the contact form.
Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2023 at 10:33 am in Latest News.