Commonly prescribed to treat mild to moderate pain as well as diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal issues, codeine comes with a potential for abuse and dependency due to the addictive nature of this opioid medication. Studies show that 2.2% of patients receiving support for substance abuse in the UK are dealing with codeine addiction. 
The key signs of a codeine addiction include:
- Attempting to reduce or completely stop using codeine but being unable to do so
- Experiencing negative consequences relating to codeine use but continuing to use it
If you are dealing with a physical or psychological addiction to codeine, your chances of long-term recovery are greatly increased if you choose to receive treatment within a rehabilitation centre.
How long does codeine rehab take?
When assessment, detoxification and counselling are taken into account, the process of codeine rehab can usually last between 7 and 28 days depending on the severity of the addiction with the most common treatment programmes usually ranging between two and four weeks.
If possible, the patient should always attempt to stay for the duration of the process and fully complete the treatment programme for the most effective and long-lasting results. However, most rehabilitation centres will allow you to leave of your own accord unless you pose a danger to yourself or others.
How much does codeine rehab cost?
There are a number of factors that can determine the cost of a codeine addiction treatment programme. These include:
- The severity of the addiction
- The length of the stay
- The type of treatment chosen
- The treatment centre selected
- The type of room chosen (single or shared)
If you have been diagnosed with less severe codeine addiction, you may benefit from a stay of up to 10 days which can range between £2,000 and £6,000. For more severe addictions, a 28-day stay will range between £8,000 and £12,000 depending on whether you opt for a single or shared room.
As the symptoms of codeine withdrawal are not usually life-threatening, it may be possible to undergo a home detox which can cost around £1500. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may not be appropriate for individuals who are dealing with severe codeine addiction.
What does the process of codeine rehab look like?
Entering a rehabilitation centre or treatment programme for a codeine addiction can be an overwhelming and intimidating experience, but understanding the process and knowing what to expect can help many people find the confidence to take the first step towards recovery.
Before the addiction treatment can begin, the patient will need to undergo an assessment to determine the severity of the addiction and the most effective method of treatment. This can also help to rule out any underlying medical issues and ensure the safety of the patient throughout the process.
This is the physical aspect of treatment, in which the body is completely cleansed of codeine over a period of time. The detoxification process can result in a number of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms which can be uncomfortable and difficult to deal with, but which will eventually pass.
The majority of rehabilitation centres offer a range of therapy treatments in order to treat the psychological causes and symptoms of codeine addiction. These can range from more traditional methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy and group therapy to complementary and holistic treatments including acupuncture and music therapy.
The period of time immediately after leaving the treatment programme can be challenging, but an effective aftercare plan can mitigate many of the risks and guide patients through any potential triggers or relapses.
How does a codeine rehab assessment work?
In order to determine the severity of the addiction a trained and experienced professional will ask you a number of questions about your codeine use, the amount and frequency of the dosage and any past experiences with addiction. They may require access to your medical records and will need details of any co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. 
Additionally, you will also undergo a physical examination that may involve blood and urine tests as well as a general health check. A physical assessment can help to pinpoint or rule out any underlying conditions that may make it more difficult or dangerous to go through the detoxification and withdrawal stage.
For example, if you are pregnant then you may be prescribed additional medication such as methadone to help you through the withdrawal process as you will be at a higher risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. Additionally, individuals in poor health may require closer monitoring during this time as they are at increased risk of suffering more severe withdrawal symptoms.
It is important that you provide as much detail as possible during the assessment and try to be as honest as possible with your answers. This will allow for a greater understanding of the severity of your addiction and therefore a more effective treatment programme will be created.
What happens during a codeine detox?
In order to treat the physical aspect of the addiction, one of the earliest stages of codeine rehab involves complete detoxification. During this process the body is thoroughly cleansed of codeine over a period of time until the substance is no longer in the system, resulting in a number of withdrawal symptoms as the body rebalances.
It is not recommended to completely stop taking codeine cold turkey. Instead, a medical professional will create a personalised treatment plan that involves slowing lowering the dosage and tapering off the frequency of the doses until the patient is no longer ingesting codeine. This can help to manage and alleviate many of the more uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. 
In general, codeine withdrawal can be categorised into two phases. The initial phase will begin a few hours after the last dose of codeine, as the body begins to react to the immediate absence of this substance in the system. The second phase will occur in the weeks and months following the detoxication and signals that the body is attempting to rebalance and learn to function without codeine.
What are the signs and symptoms of codeine withdrawal?
As codeine is physically and psychologically addictive, people with a dependency on this substance are likely to experience a range of withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking codeine.
The symptoms of codeine withdrawal can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but in most cases are not life-threatening. The most prominent risk involves the possibility of dehydration as excessive perspiration and frequent vomiting can deplete the body of fluids, causing severe illness.
This can be avoided by drinking plenty of water throughout the process, and your fluid intake will be carefully monitored when undergoing detoxification within a rehabilitation centre.
Common symptoms of codeine withdrawal include:
- Insomnia, difficulty falling and staying asleep
- Flu-like symptoms including a runny nose and chills
- Muscle twitches
- Lack of appetite
- Watery and teary eyes
- Excessive perspiration
- Feeling restless and irritable
- Intense cravings for codeine
Severe symptoms of codeine withdrawal include:
- Increased blood pressure
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling agitated
- Fast breathing
- Stomach cramps
- Gastrointestinal problems including diarrhoea
For many people, the process of codeine withdrawal is similar to a severe bout of flu. If you are planning to detox from codeine at home, it may be beneficial to clear your schedule and ensure that you have sufficient time to relax and recover.
How long does codeine withdrawal last?
Each person experiences codeine withdrawal differently, but it can be helpful to understand a general timeline of the process.
Most people begin to experience physical withdrawal symptoms shortly after missing their first dose of codeine. These symptoms may include excessive perspiration, nausea and chills and will gradually build and peak over a few days. The psychological symptoms such as anxiety and intense cravings may come later but will usually last for several weeks before gradually abating.
While the cravings for codeine may be intense and feel unbearable at times, it is important to avoid the trap of taking a small amount of codeine in order to alleviate the uncomfortable sensations. This will effectively reset the withdrawal process and require you to start from the beginning, which can be extremely demotivating to many people.
Which counselling options will I receive during codeine rehab?
Once the physical aspect of recovery has been completed, the psychological treatment can begin. Many people dealing with a codeine addiction may have initially turned to substance abuse as a way to escape from traumatic or uncomfortable memories and emotions, and counselling is an effective and healthy way to release this trauma and begin to move forward.
The goal of counselling within codeine rehab is to determine the potential causes of the addiction, treat any co-occurring mental health disorders and provide strategies and motivation to encourage and assist long-term recovery.
Common counselling options offering during codeine rehab include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Dialectical behaviour therapy
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and mindfulness
It is recommended that the majority of patients continue to receive ongoing counselling once the treatment programme has been completed, as this can help to decrease the rates of relapse and navigate potentially triggering situations that may be encountered as patients reintegrate back into daily life.