There are many dangers associated with Percocet addiction. Much like codeine and morphine, Percocet is an opiate available only through prescription. Percocet contains acetaminophen in combination with OxyContin or oxycodone which is a narcotic analgesic. Percocet is most often taken in tablet form. It is not uncommon for people with Percocet addiction problems to take between 20 – 40 pills a day. Percocet is manufactured in the following strengths, in which the first number indicates the amount of oxycodone in each pill, and the second, the amount of acetaminophen per pill (both in milligrams): 2.5/325, 5/325, 7.5/500, 7.5/325, 10/650, and 10/325.
Percocet addiction can occur within three weeks of using the opioid. On the surface, Percocet seems like a typical prescription drug. The addictive capability of the drug and widespread use has propelled it like all other prescription opioids into a main stream addiction epidemic. Percocet is mainly prescribed by physicians to manage pain. When the patient feels this initial pain relief and pleasurable feeling they try to recreate it by taking more. By increasing the dosage of tablets you are also increasing your tolerance to the drug. What this means is that your body needs more of the drug so that your mind can experience similar effects thus creating a very dangerous and unhealthy addiction.
Percocet addiction is known to affect women more than men and is oftentimes ingested for non-medical uses the most (according to national statistics) in the age groups 12-17 and 18-25. The US National Drug Intelligence Center’s 2006 Drug Threat Assessment reported that “commercial disbursements of commonly abused pharmaceuticals such as oxycodone” nearly doubled between 2000 and 2004 and that their abuse rate is second only to marijuana.
Percocet addiction is cyclical, swinging between intense use and cravings for the drug. Most Percocet addicts develop such a dependency on this medication that they need it to feel normal. Percocet is not only addictive but affects consciousness as well. Often times it gives the user, and especially an addict, a sense of loss of surroundings. It acts as a “block” to pain receptors in the brain, which results in a feeling of euphoria. It is this euphoria that people with a Percocet addiction are searching for every time they ingest these tablets. They believe they can reproduce this euphoria by increasing the quantity and frequency of the tablets. Unfortunately, this initial feeling is rarely recreated. But the person will continue taking the drug despite the tolerance they have developed which is keeping them from experiencing the euphoric feeling that they crave. This pattern of behavior is known as addiction and it affects millions of people. If the person stops taking the drug, they will experience unpleasant, uncomfortable, and in many cases, dangerous Percocet withdrawal symptoms.
There are some easily recognizable Percocet addiction symptoms that accompany opioid abuse, dependence, and addiction, such as:
- Taking the medication when it isn’t
needed-toaide in relaxation after a long day, or simply to enjoy the euphoria.
- A chronic and rapid increase in the amount of medication being taken, especially if it’s sooner than the prescription was written. For example, if the prescription is for 40 pills and it directs the patient to take 1 to 2 every four hours as needed up to 8 per day, it should last five days. Finishing the bottle in three (or two, or one day, or less-it’s been done, many times) should sound the alarm that either the person is taking the drug excessively and unnecessarily, or that it is ineffective at that dosage. Whatever the case, the patient should speak with his or her prescribing doctor.
behaviorsuch as Doctor-shopping. Defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as “moving from provider to provider in an effort to obtain multiple prescriptions for the drug(s) they abuse”, doctor-shopping is a phenomenon unique to prescription drug abuse for obvious reasons. Addicts may go to different doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics, or hospital emergency rooms in order to score the right prescription. If they strike out and they have nowhere else to turn, a driven addict may buy them off the street or in some cases attempt to rob a pharmacy.
- Additionally, a user who has developed a dependence on the opioid may become irritable and exhibit flu-like symptoms when they are unable to find more. At this point, their body has begun the process of withdrawal.
Percocet withdrawal discomfort and symptoms vary depending on how long the person has been using and the amount of the drug taken at any given time. The symptoms one might experience during Percocet withdrawal include insomnia, vomiting, restlessness, diarrhea, and muscle and bone pain. When you are dealing with a physical addiction it is very important to reduce the intake gradually. Abrupt discontinuation of the drug can have devastating effects on the body including seizures and convulsions.
We urge you to seek counseling for substance abuse professional and medical supervision before undergoing Percocet addiction withdrawal. Entrance to residential treatment programs seems to be the best defense against any medical complications that could occur during the withdrawal process.