News

ADDICT: Codeine ‘harder to quit than ice’

LEGAL BUT NOT SAFE: A woman says her addiction to over-the-counter codeine was ‘worse than ice’.
LEGAL BUT NOT SAFE: A woman says her addiction to over-the-counter codeine was ‘worse than ice’. Carlos Gutierrez

A HERVEY Bay woman who has lived more than half her life in a drug haze said codeine was harder to quit than ice, because it's legal.

For the past 25 years, the woman has suffered through an addiction to ice, alcohol and codeine and now has irreversible organ damage to her pancreas, and other gastrointestinal organs.

Nurofen Plus, Mersyndol Day and Night, Dolased and Panadeine Rapid were her drugs of choice, and she could pick them up at any pharmacy.

Despite being able stop using ice 20 years ago, the 44-year-old woman said it was "absolutely" much harder to stop using alcohol and codeine because they were legal and readily available.

"Everyone does it," she said.

"The first thing people do when they've got headache is take a pill, next thing you know they take Mersyndol and go 'hey these things work!' and once you've gone from regular Panadol to codeine there's no going back.

"Next thing you know you're taking 20 a day and it's controlling your life."

The woman first started taking codeine to feel numb from the hangovers she would suffer after abusing alcohol and speed (the powdered form of methamphetamine or 'ice').

But while she managed to quit ice, she soon became dependent on the feeling she got from the legal narcotics.

"You take it properly at first, only six or eight tablets a day, but I ended up taking 20 tablets at day at my worst," she said.

"I liked the way it made me feel; it makes you feel high but also relaxed, that one is very hard to describe, if you get stuck on it you do find it hard to stop and I did suffer withdrawal from it."

The woman, who is married and holds down a respectable job, found herself in a vicious cycle of alcohol abuse and codeine dependency and said her life became dedicated to drugs.

The Hervey Bay woman has been to hospital 15 times in the last 20 years for internal bleeding, pancreatitis and gastrointestinal distress.

"If I took too many my organs would start swelling and I've had intestinal bleeding before," she said.

"It eats you from the inside out."

Dr Kees Nydam from Wide Bay Health's Alcohol and Other Drugs Support Services has helped people who were taking 200 codeine-based pills a day.

He said there were many reasons why a person could become dependent on codeine.

"It may be genetic, may be early trauma, might be adult post traumatic stress disorder, might be anxiety disorder, might be depressive disorder, may be that you live in a sub-group of people where it's ok to use drugs," Dr Nydam said.

"A lot of people do not realise that if you previously had a problem with one drug then you'll have a problem with another drug."

CODEINE EXPLAINED

  • In 70% of people, codeine turns into morphine when it enters the body.
  •  A doctors' prescription is not currently needed to buy codeine-based products.

Topics:  addict codeine drugs editors picks ice pharmacy



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Women charged after dog dies from heat stress in Urangan

RSPCA inspector Penny Flaherty.

Two women have been charged after a dog died of heat stress.

Car and truck collide on Bruce Highway at Glenorchy

A woman has been taken to hospital after a crash on the Glenorchy Straight.

A woman was taken to hospital after the crash.

Local Partners

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

TWENTY-TWO people have been killed and at least 59 people have been injured following a terror attack in Manchester

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Deputy Premier makes massive call on controversial sand mine

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

BREAKING: State Government makes huge call on Coast sand mine plans

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!