Addiction can affect anyone regardless of their age, family history, financial status, or race. Even trying a drug one time could lead to dependence. A popular drug that people often abuse is codeine, which is a prescription opioid drug that suppresses severe coughs and treats mild pain. Codeine is largely found in cough syrups and is considered a Schedule III drug since there have been high rates of abuse in recent years. Sometimes people have no intention of abusing the drug, but their doctor may prescribe them promethazine with codeine to help suppress a severe cough. Unfortunately, if not taken as prescribed, the medication can be highly addictive.

How Users Abuse Codeine?

Once users experience the narcotic high that codeine produces, they continue to experiment with the drug by mixing it with other substances to make it more pleasurable. For example, many users mix codeine cough syrup with soda or alcoholic beverages, which can be very dangerous. These mixes are popularly known as ‘lean’ or ‘purple drank.’

Sometimes users mix codeine with dextromethorphan, or DXM, which is also dangerous and really intoxicating. DXM is known for producing euphoric feelings and mind-altering effects when taken in large doses. Depending on how much of the drug is consumed, individuals may experience distortions of color and sound, hallucinations, and loss of mobility.

Negative Side Effects of Cough Syrup

Although users may prefer to mix codeine cough syrup with alcoholic beverages or other substances, there are some negative side effects of consuming too much of the drug. Users may experience temporary sedation and euphoric sensations, but they could also experience memory loss and seizures. Users may not be aware of how easy it is to overdose on cough syrup, especially when mixed with other substances. Opioids are known for depressing breathing, especially if a person falls asleep. Eventually, the person will experience oxygen deprivation during their sleep, which could be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Because mixing opioids with alcohol enhances the negative effects of both substances, it’s harder for emergency crews to assist an individual who has overdosed.

Since alcohol and opioids are two of the most addictive substances in the country, mixing them can lead to hazardous health effects, build tolerance, create codependency, and result in addiction. Therefore, if you suspect that your loved one is suffering from substance abuse disorder, it’s important to intervene and help them seek treatment options.

Alternative Treatment Centers in Tennessee

Codeine: How and Why it's AbusedDiscovery Place is an alternative treatment center that was created to assist individuals with overcoming an addiction to drugs and alcohol. We are a nontraditional facility located in Burns, Tennessee, that has successfully helped numerous patients recover from their addictions. Some of our programs include a 30-Day Alternative Residential Addiction Recovery Program and a Long-Term Alternative Addiction Recovery Program. If you would like more information about our services, call us today to schedule a free consultation at (800) 725-0925. We are eager to help those in need with their recovery journeys.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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