Treatment for Adolescent Codeine Addiction

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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drinking prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine mixed with soda was referenced frequently in some popular music beginning in the late 90s and has now become increasingly popular among youth in several areas of the country.” Codeine is an addictive substance and can be highly dangerous, even deadly, when abused in high doses.

This is why adolescents abusing and addicted to codeine need to receive formal addiction treatment. Treatment for adolescents, however, must be handled differently in some ways from treatment for adult addicts.

Behavioral Therapies

As stated by the NIDA, “Behavioral therapies are effective in addressing adolescent drug use.” In fact, this is the most effective treatment option available, and it is usually necessary as a part of any teenager’s treatment program for codeine abuse and addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been used for many years as an adolescent addiction treatment, helping young addicts learn how to identify dangerous behaviors and begin to change them. This therapeutic option often allows the patient to see their drug abuse in a different light and to realize how much their codeine addiction is controlling and hurting them.

Adolescents who abuse drugs also have different treatment needs from adult addicts, and family involvement can be incredibly beneficial and necessary to the individual. Multidimensional family therapy is often used in any type of treatment setting, and family members are able to become involved by attending therapy sessions with the patient and learning how the family can better function in order to discourage drug abuse and encourage safer behaviors. Individual and parallel sessions are held so the patient is able to receive treatment with their family’s involvement and still have private sessions.

Another option, multisystemic therapy “addresses the factors associated with serious antisocial behavior in children and adolescents who abuse alcohol and other drugs” (NIDA). This program usually lasts six months or so but it can help the patient get to the bottom of feelings of unhappiness or failure, past trauma, biological factors, and other issues that may have helped lead to their addictions.

Holistic Modalities

Art therapy is an effective alternative to talk therapy.

Art therapy is an effective alternative to talk therapy.

Generally, medications would also be used to treat codeine addiction in adults, but this option is often not utilized in the treatment of adolescents. This is because most opioid addiction medications are not approved yet for adolescent use and because they can be difficult on the user. Therefore, it is often more beneficial when codeine addiction in teens and children can be treated with therapy.

However, holistic modalities can be helpful, especially for those adolescents not yet comfortable with talk therapy. Art therapy has “proved effective with adolescents” who do not come to the treatment with as many preconceived notions as they often do when beginning talk therapy (Western Journal of Medicine). While this has been found to be one of the most helpful holistic treatments for adolescent abuse syndromes, others like performance art or animal therapy may be beneficial too.

Is Your Child Abusing Codeine?

It is never too early to intervene in an adolescent’s drug abuse and to begin treatment, especially when they are abusing a dangerous and highly addictive substance like codeine. Call (800) 407-7195 today to find out more about the possible treatment options available.

the Take-Away

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drinking prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine mixed with soda was referenced frequently in some popular music beginning in the late 90s and has now become increasingly popular among youth in several areas of the country.” Codeine is an addictive substance and can be highly dangerous, …