If you have acute or chronic pain that’s considered mild to moderate, your doctor may prescribe Tylenol #3. It contains an over-the-counter pain reliever combined with codeine, which is an opiate. Like many other medications prescribed for pain, Tylenol #3 can give users a relaxed, euphoric feeling, which puts users at high risk of misuse.
If you misuse Tylenol #3, you may find that it can be habit-forming and can ultimately lead to dependence and addiction. Overcoming addiction or dependence to strong substances can be difficult but is possible with the help of professionals trained in the field of addiction recovery.
The best Tylenol #3 addiction treatment and rehab centers can help you find a way to overcome dependence on substances and teach you the skills you need to avoid returning to misusing drugs.
What is Tylenol #3 and What is it Used For?
Tylenol #3 is a combination of Tylenol and codeine. Tylenol is a brand name for the chemical acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer. Codeine is a narcotic pain reliever, which changes the way the brain responds to pain. It also belongs to a group of medications known as antitussives, which means it can also relieve coughing. Acetaminophen can help to increase the effects of codeine. Tylenol #3 is available in the form of tablets or liquid.
Tylenol #3 is classified as a Schedule III substance. This means that it can be habit-forming, but its potential for abuse is less than drugs like heroin, LSD, hydrocodone and morphine. Drugs classified as Schedule III substances have a moderate potential for physical dependence but a high potential for psychological dependence.
When you have pain that isn’t being controlled by over-the-counter pain medication such as headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, back pain or toothaches, your doctor may prescribe Tylenol #3. When this medication is taken exactly as prescribed, you don’t have to worry about developing addiction. But if you take higher doses than prescribed or use it recreationally without a prescription, you are putting yourself at high risk of becoming dependent or addicted.
Other Names for Tylenol #3
The combination of acetaminophen and codeine is sold under several different brand names besides Tylenol #3. These include:
· Capital with Codeine
· APAP with Codeine
You may hear codeine or acetaminophen combined with codeine referred to by a variety of other names on the street including:
T1, T2, T3, T4
When codeine syrup is mixed with soda, it is sometimes called Texas tea or purple drank.
Tylenol #3 Side Effects
Painkillers and other strong medications that require a prescription often have unwanted side effects. In a combination medication such as Tylenol #3, side effects can be caused by either the Tylenol or the codeine or the combination of the two. Some of the side effects that you might experience from taking Tylenol #3 include:
Loss of appetite
Some of these side effects may go away after you’ve been using this medication for a while. More serious side effects that you should tell your doctor about right away include:
Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Fast or slow heartbeat
Decreased sexual desire
Some side effects may require emergency medical attention. Get medical help right away if you have signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling of your face, tongue, lips or throat, hives or difficulty breathing. Acetaminophen can cause a skin reaction that can be fatal in rare cases, which might occur even if you’ve taken acetaminophen in the past. Immediately stop taking your medication and call a doctor right away if you experience redness of the skin or a rash that spreads and causes peeling and blistering.
How Addiction to Tylenol #3 Develops
Medications like Tylenol #3 that are frequently prescribed and easily obtained are often thought to be completely safe and not as dangerous as street drugs. You may have a prescription yourself on one or more occasions, or you may find it in a friend or relative’s medicine cabinet.
Prescription drugs can be every bit as addictive as street drugs, and if you take them at high doses or mix them with other substances, they can be deadly.
Dependence and addiction can develop subtly and with very little warning. People can develop addiction when they take more of a medication than is prescribed or take medication that belongs to someone else. Painkillers are sometimes used recreationally just for the effect or out of curiosity, and people don’t realize how quickly they can become habit-forming. When you rely on painkillers on a routine or habitual basis, you may start to feel abnormal if you can’t obtain the substance that you’ve been relying on.
As long as you use prescription painkillers for a short time and exactly as prescribed by your doctor, you shouldn’t get into trouble. If your pain isn’t being controlled by your prescription for Tylenol #3, it’s important to let your doctor know rather than trying to increase your dose on your own.
Signs and Symptoms of Tylenol #3 Dependence and Addiction
Whenever you take narcotic medications more often than prescribed or at a higher dose than prescribed, you are increasing your risk of becoming dependent on or addicted to the medication. Taking Tylenol #3 or any other opioid medication without a prescription just for the effect also puts you at risk of becoming addicted.
Signs that you may have become addicted to Tylenol # 3 include:
Taking more and more of the medication to achieve the same effect
Feeling compelled to use the substance
Not feeling normal if you don’t have any medication to take
Developing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking it
Lying to people you love or trying to hide your drug use from them
Putting yourself or loved ones at risk, such as by driving while under the influence
Losing interest in socializing or participating in activities that used to bring you pleasure
Putting more and more effort and money into obtaining more Tylenol #3
Continuing to misuse Tylenol #3 in spite of negative consequences such as conflict in your relationships, losing your job or having financial or legal problems caused by your drug use
Tylenol #3 Withdrawal Symptoms
If you’ve become dependent on Tylenol #3 or any other mind-altering substance, physically or mentally, trying to discontinue using it sets off very unpleasant symptoms known as withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms start as soon as a few hours after your last dose. Some of what you may experience includes:
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Irritability or anxiety
Fast heartbeat or breathing
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
Whether you’ve become physically or psychologically dependent on Tylenol #3, trying to detox on your own can cause such unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that you’ll probably seek out more of the substance to stop these symptoms. If you have been misusing other substances at the same time, trying to withdraw cold turkey can be extremely unpleasant and may even be life-threatening, particularly if one of the substances you have been misusing is alcohol.
Tylenol #3 Overdose
If you don’t find a way to stop relying on high doses of painkillers, you are at high risk of overdose. Symptoms of Tylenol #3 overdose include:
Bloody or cloudy urine
Vomiting, possibly vomiting blood
Yellow eyes or skin
Loss of consciousness
If someone you love has a seizure, can’t be awakened or has difficulty breathing and you believe they may have overdosed on Tylenol #3, call 911 immediately. If they have other symptoms of possible overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222.
Tylenol #3 Addiction Help
Continued misuse of addictive substances can cause changes in the brain that affect your self-control and your ability to choose whether or not to use substances. The good news is that it’s possible to overcome addiction to Tylenol #3 and other substances with help from people who are trained in the field of addiction recovery.
If you think you have become addicted to Tylenol #3 and you’re ready to get Tylenol #3 addiction help, talk to your doctor or to an addiction professional. The more physically or psychologically dependent you are on any mind-altering substance, the more likely that you will need professional help to overcome your compulsion to keep using substances.
Part of your recovery will include behavior therapy, which can help you modify your behaviors, make better choices and increase healthy life skills. Medication may be prescribed that can help to reduce cravings.
Your doctor may recommend that you spend time in an addiction treatment facility. To choose the best Tylenol #3 addiction treatment and rehabilitation facility for you, try visiting several different opioid treatment centers and compare what they have to offer. Bring someone with you to help you evaluate which facility seems most suited to you.
Do You Need Inpatient or Outpatient Tylenol #3 Addiction Treatment?
The decision about whether to obtain treatment on an inpatient or an outpatient basis should be made with the help of your doctor, a counselor or an addiction professional. If Tylenol #3 is only one of many substances you have been misusing, you may need to enroll in an inpatient treatment center where you’ll be able to go through detoxification from all mind-altering chemicals while under around the clock supervision.
At the best Tylenol #3 addiction treatment and rehab centers, specially trained addiction professionals and medical staff may be able to give you medication to help take the edge off the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. They’ll be available for emergency treatment if going through detoxification becomes dangerous in any way.
At a treatment center, you’ll be able to participate in individual therapy, group therapy and support groups. You’ll spend a lot of time learning about the disease of addiction including what has triggered the compulsion to use in the past and what to do when cravings come back in the future. When you stay at a residential facility for a period of time, you give yourself the opportunity to be separated from acquaintances who may encourage you to go back to using drugs while you completely focus on your recovery without distractions or negative influences.
If Tylenol #3 is the only substance you were misusing and you have a lot of day-to-day responsibilities such as a job or taking care of children, you may be able to obtain treatment on an outpatient basis. If outpatient treatment is right for you, your treatment plan will include therapy and participation in support groups.
Recovering from Tylenol #3 Addiction
The initial phase of getting all mind-altering substances out of your system is only the beginning of recovering from Tylenol #3 addiction. Cravings for substances may hit you when you least expect them, and you’ll need to continue to be vigilant and committed to a life of sobriety.
The good news is that with a genuine desire to stop using, it is possible to learn to live a drug-free life. It can be done with the help of professionals in the field of addiction and peers who have had similar experiences, along with your own commitment to remaining focused on the journey of recovery.