Codeine is a drug in opioid family. It is used majorly for pain management especially if the pain is a severe one.
It however has the ability to suppress cough. Therefore, it is used to stop cough. But then, it can make one become dependent on it. At this point, your body becomes adapted to the presence of codeine such that if you stop taking it suddenly, you will experience some harsh symptoms that you wouldn’t like. Literally, you would be feeling like you’re about to die unless you resume taking codeine again.
When this happens, the person who is now dependent on it cannot be him or herself until the person starts taking it again.
What actually makes some people take it is because it gives false feeling of well-being; not necessarily because it suppresses cough or that they have it. In the midst of frustration, people tend to use it to elevate their mood. This is an abuse.
In the presence of the abuse, people get addicted to it. So, for those who wouldn’t want to get addicted to it, there’s an alternative which still suppresses cough just like codeine does.
The codeine alternative is called dextromethorphan. Others include butamirate and noscapine. The advantage these codeine alternatives have over codeine is that they don’t cause addiction.
Also, they don’t give false feeling of well-being which is the greatest factor that leads people to abuse codeine.
If you are therefore having dry cough that you need to suppress, and you wouldn’t want to use codeine syrup perhaps because of its addictive effect, either of its alternatives should be then used.