Percocet Addiction

The United States is currently going through one of the worst crises in its 242-year existence as a nation, and according to our First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, she called it the worst drug crisis in history. The crisis has truly taken hold of our country, and the First Lady has called for a lifting from the stigma of shame that is sometimes associated with drug addiction. While the crisis has its teeth sunk into the American people, fortunately, there is national attention from our leaders committed to fighting this seemingly uphill battle. There has been nothing like this in recent history, but measures are being put in place to keep it from happening again.

Each day 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids like Percocet. Though Percocet and oxycodone are responsible for their share, there are other drugs such as prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl contributing as well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also mentions that the economic burden of opioid use to our economy has reached $78.5 billion a year. This relates to cost from healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. It may not feel right to put an economic figure on death and suffering, but it illustrates the devastation that is felt by all.

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The crisis has affected our culture in such a way that the CDC has lowered life expectancy for the third year in a row. Life expectancy around the globe has been steadily increasing with the modern advances in medicine, but the United States is the only developed nation to suffer from this fate. This three-year drop represents the longest sustained decline in expected lifespan from 1915 through 1918 when the United States was devastated by influenza. Life expectancy gives a snapshot of the nation’s overall health according to CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, and he followed this with “these sobering statistics are a wake-up call that we are losing too many American’s, too early, and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

Percocet is a synthetic opioid that contains oxycodone as the active ingredient, and it shares similarities to illegal drugs like heroin. It has been referred to as “hillbilly heroin” because of its close relation to heroin. There is no correlation between oxycodone use and graduating to heroin, but it is a common theme when heroin users share their story. It all started from using prescription opioids. Percocet has an extremely high risk of abuse when not used as prescribed. It can be a valuable tool in the fight against chronic pain, but this comes at a high cost of potentially developing an opioid use disorder (OUD).

What Is Percocet?

Percocet is a drug made up of oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen. It comes in a variety of different strengths and is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. It belongs in a wider classification of drugs known as depressants that also include drugs like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol. It is often prescribed in cases of chronic pain and works in the brain by blocking pain receptors that slow messages between the body and brain. It works in a fashion similar to other opioids.

Percocet-Addiction

There are side effects attributed to Percocet use that can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, itching, constipation, dry mouth, and sweating. It is highly likely to cause addiction, withdrawal, dependence, or an overdose when it is abused. If you are prescribed this medication, you must always follow the doctor’s instructions.

Percocet was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974, but it wasn’t until 1989 when doctors began supporting wider use of opioid painkillers as a means to treat pain. Oxycodone itself was never a popular drug until Purdue Pharma began making OxyContin in 1996. It was marketed as a pain reliever, but it did not take long to see the consequences of use.

Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Addiction

It is often difficult to detect drug addiction in the earlier stages of using. What makes it even more difficult is when someone has a prescription for a drug like Percocet because they can counter any argument by saying it is for pain. Those who suffer from chronic pain can agree that these pills can make their lives a little easier and allow them to function, but it is a slippery slope between using and addiction.

There is a pattern that follows a substance use disorder that you should familiarize yourself with. This will make it easier in the future to help someone who could be suffering from signs only that you can detect.

The first sign of a substance use disorder is tolerance. Tolerance is when the dose your doctor prescribed initially is not having the same effect. That given dose will continually get weaker with each use, and if someone increases to a stronger dose to achieve those same effects, it can lead to them becoming physically dependent.

If you continue to use despite the tolerance, it can lead to a chemical dependency where your body needs the drug to maintain normalcy. Dependency is closely related to addiction but is not technically the same. A dependency is caused when the brain begins to rely on Percocet to maintain balance from the chemicals the brain stopped producing on its own. If you slow down or stop using and feel undesirable withdrawal symptoms, this could indicate you have developed a dependency. The symptoms have been described as having the worst flu one has ever had with symptoms such as nausea, sweating, excessive yawning, diarrhea, sweating, and chills.

If you are concerned about Percocet abuse, these are some behavioral signs to look for:

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  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Lying about drug use
  • Trying to quit but failing despite multiple attempts
  • Hiding drugs around the house
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Decreased performance at work or school
  • Isolation

Addiction is the final stage of a substance use disorder. Addiction is defined as the compulsive use of a drug despite serious consequences that may arise. If your use of Percocet has caused you to get a DUI charge, but you continue to use, this is a sign you’ve become addicted.

Percocet Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is a vital part of treating a substance use disorder. For some, this may be their last opportunity before something severe such as an overdose occurs. During treatment, the client will take part in what is known as the continuum of care which treats all needs. They will treat medical disorders, possibly receive a dual diagnosis, and offer therapy that alters behaviors that support long-term sobriety or drug-free living. These programs are intensive and in-depth allowing for the client to claim back the life they call their own.

For those who have not had success in treatment before, some treatment centers will offer Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) that combines the use of drugs like methadone or Suboxone with therapy. There has been proven success with this format and shows that it keeps clients in treatment longer.

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are not inherently dangerous; however, they can be extremely uncomfortable pushing the client back into their old habits. This is why medical detoxification is necessary. This will allow the client to stabilize and rid the drugs out of their system while mitigating any risks.

The next step in treatment will be an outpatient program that will treat the client with a variety of therapies. These therapies will allow the user to understand the root of their addiction and claim their lives back.

Percocet Abuse Statistics

  • 21% to 29% of patients with opioid prescriptions abuse them
  • 191 million opioid prescriptions were filled in 2017
  • 80% of people who use heroin misused prescriptions first

Start Your Percocet Addiction Treatment Today

If you are struggling with an addiction to Percocet, it’s time to reach out and speak with us. Let our experts here at New Perspectives give you the information and help that you’ve been lacking. Specializing in medication-assisted treatment, we are confident that our evidence-based practices can get your life back in order for a happier and healthier tomorrow.

By calling now, you’ll be connected to one of our admissions specialists who can answer questions that you have about our facility or program, verify your insurance, and get you started on the admissions process. Feel free to contact us online as well. We are standing by 24-7 ready to take your call and help you get the proper addiction treatment you both need and deserve!