Codeine Addiction Treatment & Rehab

Whatever reasons you have for seeking treatment for your codeine use disorder, choosing a life free from addiction may seem daunting but we are here to assist you with finding the best options available to you.

Understanding Codeine Addiction

Addiction to codeine doesn’t happen overnight, repeat exposure, environmental triggers, pre-existing mental health issues, and even trauma have all factored into you seeking a way to self-medicate and feel better.

There is hope though if you find yourself dependent or even addicted to codeine, and understanding the signs that concern you will help you decide what course of action you want to take

a group therapy session

Recognising the Signs of Codeine Abuse

Prolonged use of codeine, even at prescribed doses, can lead to drug dependence and in some cases addiction or codeine use disorder, these risks are increased when factors like current or past history of substance use disorder (including alcohol misuse), mental health disorder ( major depression, PTSD, trauma) or a family history of SUD.

Signs that you or a loved one may be abusing codeine or even addicted to it are:

  • Expression of craving for the drug, even if it is causing adverse effects on overall health
  • Expression of a need for more, or reporting additional use of other pain-relief medicines
  • Taking medicines for reasons other than pain relief
  • Experiencing withdrawal side effects when opioids are stopped suddenly

Why Codeine Addiction Treatment is Important

Codeine addiction is a serious health issue that can cause lasting harm both to your physical & mental health.

The longer you use codeine, the harder it becomes to stop. Therefore, the best time to quit codeine is now. Our help desk can assist you in finding the safest treatment option for you.

How does Residential Rehab Work for Codeine?

a couple holding hands

A residential rehab programme can aid you in your recovery from detox through to rehabilitation by offering:

  • Counselling with therapists – emphasising your ability to change
  • Medications – to ease symptoms of withdrawal and minimise the effects of mental illness in the case of a dual diagnosis
  • Supportive staff able to monitor your withdrawal 24/7
  • Peer support, through group meetings and shared accommodation, helping you realise that you are not alone and you are part of a community.

The most effective programmes have a tailored approach to your addiction treatment and are developed around you as a whole and the best course of treatment needed for you. If you have chosen to undergo your detox in a private facility, there will be a seamless continuation of your treatment

Do You Need Support Now? Call Now On 0333 4444 432

Medical Assessment

Before detox and rehabilitation can be started, you will have a full medical assessment done with a doctor as well as a trained and highly experienced counsellor who will work together to determine the extent of your addiction.

Since the effects of Codeine use are short-lived, diagnosing your addiction will generally follow the DAST-10 (Drug Abuse Screening Test) questionnaire and assessment:

Full mental health assessment to determine:

  1. Your psychological dependence on Codeine
  2. Any existing mental health issues you may have (this is known as a dual diagnosis)

Full risk assessment

  1. What substance(s) are you using? Codeine is very popular as a party drug and is commonly used with other substances (polydrug abuse)
  2. What dosage are you taking?
  3. How frequently are you using Codeine?
  4. By what route are you administering Codeine(smoking, injecting, swallowing)?
  5. How long have you been using Codeine?
  6. Are you aware or concerned about your usage of Codeine?
  7. (Policy for alcohol referral pathway/clarify services between CAT & DAS services)


Before you can start a rehabilitation programme, you will need to rid your body of the toxins from the use of codeine, you will need to undergo a detox.

Within hours of undergoing a detox, you may start to feel some or all of the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • an intense and overwhelming desire to use codeine, which may get worse over hours or days
  • a distorted sense of reality, such as believing that codeine is the only thing making life worthwhile
  • negative emotions, such as depression, anger, or irritability
  • anxiety and restlessness
  • shedding tears
  • difficulty concentrating
  • dilated pupils
  • headaches
  • sinus congestion and sneezing
  • digestive problems, such as diarrhoea, bloating, and constipation
  • stomach pain and nausea
  • chills or hot flashes
  • intense muscle aches
  • bone and joint aches and pains
  • tremors and shaking
  • trouble sleeping

Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale Clinical Opiate Withdrawl Scale has been developed for medical professionals to determine and monitor the severity of your withdrawal symptoms to ensure you are safe and your symptoms where possible can be eased.

a couple holding hands

Rehabilitative Therapy

Residential rehabilitation is beneficial to the treatment of addiction and may include a combination of medical care, psychiatric services, counselling, behavioural therapy, vocational training, in conjunction with exercise, meditation, crafts, and nutrition sessions as a non-medical way to best support the whole of you throughout recovery.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

helps you to recognise your reactions to environmental and emotional stresses by focusing on learning new ways to cope with the stresses and triggers in your life without codeine (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Definition, Types, Techniques, Efficiency)

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT):

Incorporates emotional regulation and mindfulness strategies whilst addressing thoughts and behaviours.

Multimodal Therapy:

Also known as Combination Therapy, where a dual diagnosis is made (mix of mental health issues and substance abuse) just treating the addiction is not enough, your mental health also requires treatment to prevent relapse. (

Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT):

identifies irrational beliefs, and teaches you to recognise and change these thought patterns.
(Different approaches to psychotherapy)

Aftercare & Family Support

Part of the benefits of a private rehab programme is the aftercare and relapse prevention care that is offered. You can continue to attend outpatient therapy or private therapy to maintain your new drug-free lifestyle and to lower the chances of relapse.

Families of addicts are often neglected during treatment, but there has been a growing awareness of the roles a support system for families and loved ones of addicts has in healing the family dynamic and thereby providing a healthier environment for the recovering addict.
Most treatment centres include the families of addicts in the recovery process during and after rehab.

Inpatient VS Outpatient Services

Inpatient treatment is done at a residential rehab facility whilst outpatient treatment is offered through private treatment centres, the NHS, and some charity organisations and involves you starting your detox and completing your rehabilitation while still at home.

Outpatient options include:

  • Individual & group motivational therapy
  • Relapse prevention therapy


  • More affordable
  • Less time off work
  • Privacy
  • Recovery in a familiar environment


  • Contact with trigger situations
  • Having to continue with your day to day responsibilities whilst also experiencing withdrawals
  • You won’t have the same access to support as those offered by residential detox & rehab programmes

Whilst the NHS has outpatient care options in every local area (NHS Digital: Home) that can help you with free support during treatment, there are often waiting lists to join, so if you require immediate admission due to severe addiction or if you need to leave a toxic environment, please reach out to us on 0333 4444 432 and we will assist with finding you a private treatment facility in your area.

Choosing a Treatment Centre

Choosing a treatment centre best suited to your recovery needs is important, we recognise that if you are engaged in your recovery you are more likely to stick with it and you are welcome to contact our helpline.

Start with a list of your needs:

  • Mental and physical health support – if you are aware of an existing condition
  • Does the centre have trained and certified professionals suitable for your treatment? Credible programs should offer a wide selection of evidence-based therapy options to find the right mix for you. The more options, the better your chance at success.
  • Are counselling and medical services offered during detox?
  • Are they able to handle a medical emergency?
  • How are the staff trained?
  • Are they licensed?


  • Are the costs covered by health insurance? Are there payment plans available? What are they?

Aftercare and relapse prevention needs

  • Will you have access to counselling after rehab? Are there support groups available in your area?

The Care Quality Commission (Care Quality Commission (CQC)) is an independent regulator for health and social care in England, you can check the ratings of any treatment centre you are considering at any time before making your choice.

Secondary Addiction Treatment

Once your initial treatment (generally a 28-day inpatient programme) has been completed, the need for ongoing support for you and your family is available to facilitate your journey back to living your life free of codeine.

This is where the Secondary Addiction Care Service offered by The Priory can assist you with:

  • Reintegration back into your daily life
  • Relapse prevention
  • Reestablishing a support network within your community and family
  • Continuation of therapy
  • Rebuilding your daily life skills
    Secondary Addiction Post Treatment Services

Paying for Treatment

Some private insurance providers do cover addiction treatment, if you have health insurance, you will need to check what costs are covered and if you will be liable for a copayment. If you are going private with no insurance a payment plan will have to be made, generally, a deposit will be asked for with payment over a couple of installments the final one being on discharge.

For more information on the options available to you, please contact us.

Before Attending Rehab

No matter why you chose to seek treatment, we can assure you that it always remains in your control:

What to bring to the treatment centre
You are permitted to bring:

  • Clothing that is comfortable, appropriate, and modest
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Books, journals, and appropriate magazines
  • Pictures of your family
  • Medications in original bottles

Make sure you are committed to treatment

Since most treatment centres don’t give refunds – you need to know that you are committed to your recovery and try to keep in mind why you want a life free of addiction.

Talk to the treatment centre if your circumstances have changed:

  • Your substance use disorder involves more than codeine (polydrug use)
  • Your support structure has broken down

Or any other issues that may mean an adjustment to your treatment programme.

Speak to your GP about medication alternatives

Since codeine is generally prescribed for pain management, you will need to inform your GP that addiction has developed and that you will require alternatives once in recovery

Jason Sheirs
Author / Jason Shiers / Dip. Psych MBACP
Jason Shiers is a Certified Transformative Coach & Certified Psychotherapist who is a specialist in addiction, trauma and eating disorders. He has been working in the field of addiction for 25 years now.