Some of the most obvious symptoms of codeine addiction include a compulsion to use the drug as well as the onset of withdrawal symptoms when the affected person is deprived of it. An individual who is addicted to codeine may become preoccupied with the drug and use it more frequently than expected or required. A person who has a codeine addiction may also exhibit a range of symptoms that are associated with repeated use. These symptoms include sexual problems, tremors, and a lowered heart rate. Additionally, a person may develop itchy skin, depression, anxiety, or hallucinations because of chronic use.
When a person has a codeine addiction, he usually has an abnormal need for the drug. His body may crave codeine, even when he isn’t having symptoms that would require him to use it. In fact, the affected person may feel so compelled to use codeine that he cannot control his desire for it or seems less in control of the actions he takes to obtain it. Often, a person with this type of addiction becomes preoccupied with the medication; much of his thought process is focused on obtaining the medication, which may interfere with his activities and relationships. In some cases, a person with this addiction may actually begin thinking about his next dose of codeine right after he takes a dose.
Withdrawal symptoms may also occur as a sign of codeine addiction. For example, a person who has become addicted to this drug may develop nausea and vomiting if he stops taking it abruptly. Other symptoms of codeine withdrawal include a runny nose, excessive sweating, headaches, irregular heart rhythms, and changes in blood pressure. An individual who is going through withdrawal may also become dehydrated, feel weak, or have muscle twitches. Some people even develop a fever as a symptom of codeine withdrawal.
Often, a person with a codeine addiction also develops symptoms that are related to chronic use of the drug. Among these signs are damage to the kidneys or liver, abnormally itchy skin, nausea, and difficulty producing a bowel movement. Sometimes a person’s vision may be affected because of long-term codeine use. For example, he may have notice that his night vision deteriorates or that his vision is blurry. Decreased desire for sex, changes in heart rhythm, hallucinations, anxiety, seizures, and depression may also develop in a person who uses codeine over a long period of time because of a codeine addiction.