"Addiction to codeine tablets"

About: CGL Birmingham / East Hub

(as the patient),

I was put on co codamol tablets for my migraines 5 years ago, at first I was ok only taking them when I got a migraine and they worked so well, I don’t know how it started exactly but over time I loved the feeling codeine tablets gave me. I was always happy they would help me to sleep and make me more confident in life.

After 2 years my sister finally noticed my addiction and she rang the doctors, which I was then made an appointment to see a doctor and she put me on anti depressants and just told me to stop taking codeine, I did try I managed a year without them, but then I started again but this time it got worse.

I was taking 32 tablets within 2 days. I would get angry and agitated if I never took them, I started having therapy for my anxiety which then I told my story of addiction to my therapist, she then referred me to cgl which I wasn’t going to go at first as I didn’t think anyone could help me and didn’t want anyone taking my happy pills away from me, but I was so worried about the damage it was causing to my body. I was also so numb everyday I was in a world of my own, so I went to my appointment with cgl, and they was great.

It didn’t take long before they put me on a plan to help me ease of the codeine tablets I always thought I was weird that I was addicted to tablets I thought I was the only one until I started reading up and was amazed there was so many others like me that was addicted to codeine and couldn’t see a way out, so I’m now on espranor tablets I take 10mg a day And they're working great.

The first 2 weeks I was sick but I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t even thinking of codeine tablets once on espranor, it’s been 5 months now and I haven’t had any codeine I haven’t once thought about it either and I’m such a happier person. I didn’t realise what damage it was doing to me I didn’t even recognise myself I was numb everyday didn’t speak to anyone, always tired, I am so thankful to the cgl team they have been great, even call me once a week to see how I am and just for a chat.

I’ve also found another way to control my migraines and would never touch a codeine tablet again they ruined me and are just so addictive, I urge anyone that can see there getting addicted to get help straight away, I was a lucky one my blood tests came back ok but my insides could have been damaged a lot more if I would of carried on or I could have overdosed myself, a big thank you to cgl they work so so hard and are there to help anyone who has an addiction, they act more like there your friend than doing a job,  


Response from Lydia Broom, Service User Involvement Lead, Change Grow Live Birmingham 4 days ago
Lydia Broom
Service User Involvement Lead,
Change Grow Live Birmingham
Submitted on 29/05/2020 at 11:20
Published on Care Opinion at 11:20

Dear Nicki88

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and apologies it's taken me a while to get back to you.

I'm Lydia and I am part of the team who reads and responds to people's feedback.

I'm really glad to hear that you overcame your anxieties about nobody being able to help you, and the feelings of being without the codeine tablets that you'd become so reliant on. That must have taken a lot of strength.

From what you've written about the amount of codeine you were taking, it sounds like it was only a matter of time until they started to have a really negative impact on your physical health and it must have felt like a massive relief when you received the results of your blood test. It must also be a relief to now have a better way to control the symptoms of your migraines, which I'm aware can be incredibly debilitating.

It's really nice to hear that you've felt supported by our team and that you've been given the help and treatment that you needed to overcome your codeine use. I'll make sure that our team get to learn about your feedback as I'm sure they will really appreciate your kind words.

It's my hope that other people who are struggling with their codeine use, will read your story because your experiences provides proof that with the right support, courage and determination, there is a way out.

If you have the time and would be open to speaking to me in more depth about your story, I'd really welcome a call from you. My number is 07717715273. I hope to speak to you soon, but there is absolutely no pressure.

Thank you again for sharing your story and I wish you all the best for your future.

Take care,


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