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Is Codeine A Controlled Substance Or Narcotic?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

June 4, 2019

Codeine is a prescription opioid used to treat mild to moderate pain and as a cough suppressant. This drug is both a controlled substance and a narcotic. Codeine addiction often requires formal treatment to overcome.

Codeine is a drug commonly used in the treatment of mild pain. It is also used as a cough suppressant or in combination with other medications like acetaminophen. Codeine is part of the opioid family of drugs and is therefore considered both a controlled substance and a narcotic.

While considered a milder opioid, codeine still comes with the risk of abuse and addiction. This drug works on the opioid receptors in the brain to reduce feelings of pain. Codeine can also elicit feelings of pleasure, relaxation, and euphoria.

Abusing codeine can increase a person’s risk of physical dependence and addiction. Codeine abuse and addiction can be a vicious cycle and result in negative side effects and increased risk of overdose.

Is Codeine A Controlled Substance?

Controlled substances are drugs that can cause physical and mental dependence as well as addiction. These drugs are highly monitored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and come with a number of regulations regarding how they can be obtained.

Drugs that are considered controlled substances are separated into five different schedules. These schedules denote a drug’s abuse potential, medical use, and potential for abuse and dependence.

Opioids like codeine are considered controlled substances. Codeine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance when it is prescribed in doses higher than 90 mgs. When codeine is part of a medication with tylenol, it is considered a Schedule III substance.

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Is Codeine A Narcotic?

The term “narcotic” is used today to describe drugs that fall into the opioid category. A narcotic can be both a prescription medication or an illegal substance. All narcotics come with the risk of abuse and addiction.

Because codeine is an opioid, it is also considered a narcotic.

Getting Help For Codeine Abuse And Addiction

As a controlled substance and a narcotic, codeine can be an addictive substance. Many people with an addiction to codeine will need formal treatment to overcome their addiction.

A medically supervised detox program and inpatient treatment are often part of a formal treatment plan. Detox programs help people stop taking codeine safely and comfortably, while inpatient treatment equips individuals with the tools they need to stay sober.

To learn more about whether codeine is a controlled substance or a narcotic, contact a treatment specialist today.

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