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What is Codeine?
A) Codeine is a member of the drug class opiates. Opiates
include all naturally occurring drugs with morphine-like
effects such as codeine and all semi and fully synthetic
drugs with morphine-like effects such as heroin and meperidine
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
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
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?
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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