Codeine is a mild narcotic painkiller and cough suppressant. It is now a prescription only drug that treats moderate or severe pain. Recreational use of codeine symptoms include euphoria, memory loss, vomiting, and loss of coordination and motor skills. While combining codeine with alcohol may give you more of an instant high than taking each drug separately, it can also be a deadly combination that you must stay away from.

Alcohol increases opioid high as they are both central nervous system depressants and give short-term pleasant highs. Codeine binds to opioid receptors and alcohol binds to GABA receptors interacting with dopamine and serotonin. You tend to feel better and happier when on these drugs. When the drugs wear off, the reduction in neurotransmitters can make you depressed which makes you compulsively try to acquire more of the drugs, leading to addiction. DJ Screw came up with the mixture of codeine-based cough syrup with alcohol caused purple drank, lean, Texas tea, or sizzurp. He ended up dying from this overdose in 2000. A few years later, the DEA made it harder to acquire codeine but two decades later, it became more popular among youth with rappers still mentioning the combination in their songs.

The short-term harm brought by codeine and alcohol includes dizziness, trouble concentrating, vomiting, constipation, headaches, mental “fog,” breathing problems, and impaired judgment. All of these symptoms can cause falls and car accidents. You are also likely to take shallow breaths, breathe less often, or the breaths become irregular. This combination can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain and the body which causes organ damage, coma, or death when your brain shuts down. This increases the risk of kidney and liver damage. There can also be gastrointestinal system damage of abdominal bloating, inflammation leading to colitis, ulcers, indigestion, and malnutrition.

It is important not to allow yourself to be under the influence of this deadly combination or give into the rap songs that sensationalize the drug combination. You must treat both addictions simultaneously for successful treatment. There are outpatient treatments where you go to a facility a few times a week while still living at home. There are also inpatient treatment centers where you stay at the facility for thirty to ninety days. Both of these options will offer strong professional and medical support to ensure that you will be more in control of your addiction.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.