Posted by: mike | 2007/12/09

Addiction issues

Hi Doc, Have batlled addiction issues for several years. Have a done a stint in rehab before falling down again in quite a bad way. I've had issues with alcohol, pharmaceuticals as well as street chemicals.
I have stopped drinking (haven't had alcohol since Feb 4th this year) and have also completely ceased any street drugs. The one that I seem unable to quit is a codeine based pain killer of which I usually have 20+ a day. These also contain paracetamol so I'd imagine some damage is being done to my system. Would these contribute to any kidney/ liver pain or discomfort?
Thanking you.

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Our expert says:
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One thing that troubles me is that I keep getting the impression that many rehab programs try to squeeze the maximum profit out of the maximum in-patient period a medical aid will pay for, but then neglect the critically important close follow-up. Congratulations on not merely stopping the alcohol ( alcoholics do that most days ) but on STAYING STOPPED --- that's a real achievement. Codeine, of course, is a surprisingly close relative to morphine, and can be really addictive ( as well as rather constipating ). Paracetamol isn't very good for livers, but damages them mainly in significant overdose. Which of your current or past chemicals could play a part in the pains / discomforts you mention, is not really possible to tell without physical assessment, tests, etc., so a good physical checkup from a physician would be a good idea --- and maybe the advice of a rehab shrink on coming off the codeine, which would need to be considered as an opiate.

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