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Codeine vs Hydrocodone: Which Is More Dangerous?

In discussions of the opioids codeine vs. hydrocodone, which is the more dangerous drug? Before breaking that down, it’s important to understand that both drugs have abuse potential. This may surprise you if you know that they’re prescription medications. However, even medicine that a doctor prescribes carries some risk, and knowing how to use it properly can help you avoid various problems.

About Codeine vs. Hydrocodone

Codeine and hydrocodone are both opioids. Abusing either of them leads to unpleasant side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness. Users can become physically dependent on these drugs, as well. Codeine is a mild pain- and cough-reliever. As codeine is low-strength on its own, adding another ingredient like acetaminophen helps to increase its effectiveness. It is a natural derivation of the opium plant. Because codeine is more accessible than some other opioids, it’s a common ingredient in the cough syrup mixture known as “purple drank” or “lean.” Since it’s easy for teenagers to get their hands on cough medicine, there may be a bottle or two in your bathroom cabinet right now — they’re more likely to abuse this drug than adults. Hydrocodone can combine with acetaminophen to increase its pain-relieving properties. However, it’s a synthetic drug, and it’s more effective than codeine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is common in brand name drugs like Vicodin and Norco.

Codeine vs. Hydrocodone: Which Is More Dangerous?

In general, because hydrocodone is stronger than codeine, professionals consider it the more dangerous of the two. However, that doesn’t mean that codeine is risk-free. Again, both are opioids that people abuse every day. When someone abuses these drugs, he may initially feel euphoric and relaxed, but this can turn into fatigue. Hydrocodone has more of a sedative effect than codeine, and it’s more effective for severe pain. While it’s considered to have more of an abuse potential than codeine, once someone stops using either drug, she’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. According to MedShadow, codeine is currently a Schedule II drug, and hydrocodone is a Schedule III, meaning the risks of abuse associated with it are higher than codeine. Going through a hydrocodone or codeine addiction treatment program is the best and safest way to overcome a dependence.

A Destination of Hope

At Destinations for Teens in Woodland Hills, California, your son or daughter can get the addiction and mental health treatment they need. Unlike most other rehab facilities, we exclusively treat adolescents, and this specialized care sets us apart in the addiction treatment field. Our services include:

In each of these substance use disorder treatment programs, patients will get to participate in a variety of therapies such as:

Opioids are highly addictive. Even when individuals receive prescription opioids and follow their doctor’s directions to the letter, addiction can occur. Thus, it doesn’t matter if it’s codeine or hydrocodone that someone in your family is abusing or dependent upon; they need help. Fortunately, addiction is highly treatable, and Destinations for Teens understands the unique impact and needs of adolescents and young adults. The compassionate and supportive team at Destination for Teens is ready to work with your child and your whole family to promote healing and stability. Reach out to us today at 877.466.0620 to learn more.