What is Codeine?
A) Codeine is a member of the drug class opiates. Opiates include all naturally
with morphine-like effects such as codeine and all semi and fully synthetic drugs
with morphine-like effects such as heroin and meperidine (Demerol).
was first discovered as a natural constituent of opium in very small concentrations,
in the range of 0.7% - 2.5% by weight. Most codeine found in pharmaceutical products
today is synthetically produced via the methylation of morphine.
How is Codeine used?
Codeine can be administered orally (PO), subcutaneously (SC), intramuscularly
(IM) and rectally (PR). Codeine cannot be safely administered by an intravenous
(IV) injection as it may result in pulmonary oedema, facial swelling, dangerous
release of histamines, and various cardiovascular effects. It cannot be administered
intranasally (snorting). Codeine free base can be smoked on the aluminum foil
("chasing the dragon") similarly to smoking heroin.
What are the effects of Codeine addiction?
Codeine is absorbed quickly from the GI tract and it's first pass through the
liver results in very little loss of the drug. This contrasts with morphine in
which over 90% of the drug is metabolized in the first pass through the liver
resulting in a considerable loss of potency when administered orally.
induce an "opioid analgesia" by altering the perception of pain at the
spinal cord and brain. They also affect emotional responses to pain. Opioids have
stimulating effects as well because they block inhibitory neurotransmitters. Repeated
use of these drugs can cause long-term changes in the way the nervous system functions.
your ability to drive
heart rate, blood pressure and breathing
What are the symptoms of withdrawal?
The worst symptoms pass within a few days, but it can take months to feel normal.
What is Codeine addiction?
Addiction is a major risk with prolonged use (over 2-3 weeks) of narcotics.
Even moderate doses of some narcotics can result in a fatal overdose. When increasing
doses of narcotics, the person may first feel restless and nauseous and then progress
to loss of consciousness and abnormal breathing. Other risks include withdrawal
symptoms that may last for months.
drugs activate the brains reward systems. The promise of reward is very
intense, causing the individual to crave the drug and to focus his or her activities
around taking the drug. The ability of addictive drugs to strongly activate brain
reward mechanisms and their ability to chemically alter the normal functioning
of these systems can produce an addiction. Drugs also reduce a persons level
of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings.
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