What is Percocet Drug Addiction?
Percocet is the brand name of an opiate pharmaceutical drug that is usually prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Percocet is also prescribed to individuals suffering from chronic pain. It contains oxycodone hydrochloride, which influences the brain’s perception of pain, and acetaminophen, which inhibits pain-related chemicals in the brain, as stated by the American Treatment Centers.
Percocet Drug Addiction may induce serious side effects, and it is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Prescription painkiller abuse is a widespread problem in the US and around the world. About 52 million Americans older than 12 have used prescription medications nonmedically at some point in their lives. Many become addicted, and that process happens slowly. Some people don’t notice the moment at which they shift from recreational abuse to intense addiction, but when addiction takes hold, it can be serious.
Due to the potential for abuse and addiction with Percocet, the drug’s manufacturer, Endo Pharmaceuticals, states in the prescribing information for Percocet that it is normally reserved for those who are tolerant to other opioids or those who haven’t obtained pain relief from other sources. An individual can overdose on Percocet if the drug is taken more often than prescribed, if tablets are crushed or chewed, or if it is combined with other sedatives, such as alcohol or sleeping pills. Overdose is considered a medical emergency. Without prompt treatment, serious health effects and even death can occur.
Long-term Percocet drug addiction impacts negatively an individual’s long-term health, as well as their psychological and emotional wellbeing. Thankfully, comprehensive addiction treatment can help individuals safely withdraw from this prescription drug and stop the abuse of all substances.
Effects of Percocet Drug Addiction
Percocet is usually prescribed on a short-term basis, for this reason, an addicted person may eventually resort to illegal means to feed their habit. Percocet Drug Addiction can result in risky behavior, including:
- Seeking out drug dealers
- Using a fake prescription
- Seeing multiple doctors
Percocet reduces intestinal motility. This often causes constipation and difficulty with bowel movements. Because of the Oxycodone in Percocet, there are numerous potential side effects tied to abuse of the drug. The most commonly recorded physical side effects of Percocet Drug Addiction include:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced breathing rate
- Difficulty with coordination
- Abdominal pain
- Memory loss
Social signs of Percocet Drug Addiction
Percocet can be difficult to obtain because it requires a prescription. Many people aren’t able to obtain enough Percocet through legal means, such as a prescription from a doctor. Therefore, people who are addicted may try anything in order to get the drug.
Individuals who are addicted may turn to steal medication from friends, family members, or strangers, or forging prescriptions. They may pretend to lose their prescription or frequently request new ones. They may file false police reports so pharmacies will give them more medication. Some addicts will also visit multiple doctors or pharmacies so they aren’t as likely to get caught.
Percocet use and abuse can cause a person to develop obvious mannerisms like appearing high or unusually excitable. Alternately, some people also appear sedated or excessively tired.
Long-term effects of Percocet Drug Addiction
Opioids like Percocet can cause serious health complications. The drug can increase a person’s risk for choking. It can also slow a person’s breathing, which may cause them to stop breathing entirely. It’s even possible to fall into a coma or die as a result of an overdose.
Percocet Drug Addiction may be more likely to use other illegal drugs or prescription medications. Certain combinations of medicines can be lethal. An addiction can affect work performance and personal relationships. People who use and abuse Percocet sometimes engage in risky behaviors. This may lead to motor vehicle accidents or accidents that cause bodily harm.
There is a variety of very dangerous long-term effects that chronic use of Percocet can bring to a person, including:
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
- Severe constipation
- Urinary retention
- Slightly decreased testosterone levels in men
- Physical and psychological dependence
- Immune suppression
Additionally, chronic use of Percocet creates physiological changes in the brain. Percocet binds to opiate receptors in the brain, which creates painkilling and euphoric effects. If Percocet is regularly used over a period of time, the opioid receptors become less responsive to opioid stimulation. As a result, a higher concentration of opiates is needed to fill the receptors to achieve the same effect. Without activating these receptors in the brain, the individual will experience feelings of increased pain and discomfort as well as depressed mood.
Percocet Drug Addiction Treatment
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that opioid addiction treatment includes the use of medications, behavioral interventions, screening for potential co-occurring mental health and medical disorders or diseases, and measures to reduce overdose is the most comprehensive and beneficial in treating addiction. Percocet drug addiction treatment programs encompass many different methods and formats.
The most common forms include outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential treatment programs. All three are likely to include some form of behavioral therapy that uses both group and individual sessions to help clients develop new tools and coping mechanisms. In addition, therapy helps to improve self-esteem and self-reliance by dispelling negative thoughts and destructive actions.
Family, group, and individual counseling sessions are useful for teaching healthy communication skills and providing relevant educational information. Outpatient programs can be flexible with a person’s existing schedule, fitting meetings, and sessions around work, school, or family obligations.
Residential programs for addiction may include more treatment options and often provide the most comprehensive substance abuse and addiction treatment. Intensive outpatient programs generally follow the same schedule as residential programs; however, the client commutes back and forth from home each day/night.
Drug abuse treatment facilities like We Level Up Washington, employ trained professionals who can help individuals choose a program that best suits their specific needs.
Percocet Drug Addiction Medications
Since opioid withdrawal can be rather intense without professional help, medical detox is always recommended. Medical detox provides around-the-clock mental health support and medical monitoring, ensuring clients remain safe throughout the entire process.
Pharmaceuticals are commonly used during medical detox from opioids. These medications fall into five main categories:
- Agonist drugs: Methadone (Methadose, Dolophine)
- Partial agonist drugs: Buprenorphine (Subutex)
- Antagonist drugs: Naltrexone (ReVia, Depade, Vivitrol)
- Combination agonist/antagonist drugs: Buprenorphine products also containing naloxone (Suboxone, Zubsolv)
- Medications for specific symptoms: Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, etc.
The FDA approves methadone, buprenorphine and combination products, and naltrexone for the treatment of opioid addiction, ASAM publishes. These medications may be used at different times throughout treatment and recovery, and they can help manage withdrawal as well as prevent relapse when used in conjunction with behavioral methods.
During detox, agonist or partial agonist medications may be useful in replacing Percocet to lessen withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The agonist drug methadone has a long half-life of about 30 hours, according to the FDA, meaning it can stay in a person’s system for much longer than Percocet, which has a half-life of 3-4 hours, per its manufacturer Endo Pharmaceuticals. The longer the drug stays in the body, the longer the withdrawal symptoms may be held off. Doses of methadone can then be tapered over a set period of time during detox.
Naloxone and naltrexone are opioid antagonists. They serve to block opioid receptors sites from receiving more opioids. In combination products, the antagonist drug lies dormant unless the drug is abused or more opioids are introduced. Once activated, antagonists may precipitate withdrawal, making these medications useful tools for preventing relapse and ensuring compliance beyond detox and into recovery.
Other medications or supplements that target specific symptoms may be useful during medical detox when prescribed and monitored by a medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment provider. These medications can include anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications, among others.
Reclaim your life from percocet drug addiction
Percocet Drug Addiction is a condition that can cause major health, social, and economic problems that should not be taken lightly. We Level Up Washington can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from Percocet Drug Addiction with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
We Level Up Washington Mental Health Center: Primary Mental Health Treatment with Secondary Co-Occurring Treatments
The We Level Up Washington primary mental health center stands ready to help. Offering secondary treatment programs for underlying conditions like percocet addiction that frequently fuels harmful behaviors. Taking that first step to get the professional support you need can be life-transforming.
We know how mental health disorders and secondary co-occurring substance abuse diagnoses directly affect one another. The We Level Up Washington treatment center provides recovery programs through science-based mental health treatments that can help you feel better. Call us now for a free mental health evaluation!
Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at affiliated facilities at other We Level Up Treatment Centers locations beyond the Washington treatment facility.
 U.S. National Library of Medicine – Nlm.nih.gov/
 The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Drugabuse.gov
 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Fda.gov