Codeine is a narcotic medication designed for the purpose of pain relief. Codeine is also known for being sleep-inducing. It is capable of dulling the senses as well as altering behavior and mood. While codeine is a pain killing medication that is regularly prescribed by a physician, you should also be aware of the fact that it has addictive properties. When your teen uses codeine for an injury, using it improperly or using it for too long a period of time is capable of causing a physical dependency to form. Unfortunately, what this means is that your teen can become addicted to a drug that he or she was originally using properly.
Codeine addiction does not begin in the way that an illicit drug addiction might. Your teen probably began taking codeine for a legitimate purpose such as a sports injury, but then taking the prescription medication got out of hand. The problem with prescription medications is that when you take them for a length of time, a physical dependency is capable of forming. When your body becomes accustomed to the medication, and the physical dependency is formed, your body suddenly tries to indicate that you need more of the drug.
You may feel cravings for the drug in between dosages, or you may seem to require more of the drug in order to get the same effect. This is how an addiction to a drug like codeine is formed. Your teen probably did not mean to become addicted to codeine, but once they become addicted he or she is probably going to attempt to take matters into his or her own hands, which means that they might be abusing the codeine against the recommendation of a physician without you knowing it.
Signs of Codeine Abuse
As a parent, you should be monitoring the way that your children take their medicine. Even if you have a teenager and they appear to know the risks associated with taking these types of medications, it will still benefit you significantly to keep an eye on their medication use. This is true not only for prescription medications but for over the counter medications as well. When you keep an eye on your son or daughter’s medication use, then that is when you will best be able to see that there is a problem. If pills are disappearing more quickly than they are supposed to, or if your child seems to be taking more of the medication at a time than they are supposed to, then these are sure fire signs that there is a substance abuse problem that you must address.
Spotting a substance abuse problem that involves a legal substance like codeine is not going to be easy. What it is going to require that you be diligent and vigilant about how your kids use medication. Try to keep the dialog open with them and talk to them about what pills they are taking, when and in what amounts. When you open up communication with your teen about the way these substances are being used, then that is when you can get the best idea of what is going on. At this point, if any problems are occurring you might be able to nip them in the bud before some substance abuse becomes a serious addiction.
Helping Teens Abusing Codeine
As a parent with a teen under the age of 18, you possess the ability to help your child get the substance abuse treatment assistance that they need. What this means is that if your child has a problem, you are going to want to do some basic research to find a drug addiction rehab that is going to meet their needs. Some of what you are going to want to look for includes: