Substance abuse is considered the intentional misuse of a substance (drugs or alcohol). In the case of drug abuse, it may mean someone intentionally using their prescription in a way that it was not intended or prescribed. It may also mean using someone else’s prescription for a medication you do not have a legal prescription for. Although addiction and abuse are often words that are used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. Someone who abuses drugs still has a level of control over their lives. Someone who struggles with an addiction to a substance such as Percocet has lost or is losing control of many facets of their lives, including mental, physical, and emotional health.
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Learning About the Drug
What is Percocet?
Percocet is a painkiller composed of two different ingredients. The first is Oxycodone, which is a powerful opioid. The other is acetaminophen, which most people recognize as Tylenol. Opioids are derived from the same plant-based source as morphine and some illegal drugs, including heroin. The rate of opioid addiction across the nation has led to hundreds of deaths in the last decade. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018, nearly 50,000 people lost their lives to opioid overdose. That number accounts for almost 70% of all drug-related overdose deaths in the United States, or approximately two out of every three.
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How Are They Addictive?
Percocet is classified as an opioid drug. Although it contains other drugs, it works on the brain in the same way as other opioid painkillers. Even short-term use of Percocet can lead to an addiction. People become addicted to the way Percocet and other opioids make them feel. When you take Percocet, the brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are commonly referred to as “feel-good” neurotransmitters in the brain. They are responsible for reducing the perception of pain and boosting feelings of joy and pleasure. When someone takes Percocet, it helps create a sense of overall well being while the drug is active in their body. Unfortunately, Percocet does not have an extensive active duration, and therefore it all too quickly wears off. When the feeling wears off, users often find themselves wanting those feel-good feelings or reduction in pain to return quickly. This leads to cravings or the urge to use frequently in larger and more frequent doses due to developing tolerance.
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Signs & Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
Like other pain-relieving opioids, Percocet has several possible side effects. If you or a loved one are addicted to Percocet, you may notice some or all of these to varying degrees. Knowing what to look for can help you or your loved one seek early and comprehensive treatment to overcome your addiction. If you are ready to seek treatment but are unsure where to begin, reach out to the team at My Recovery Source. Our caring and compassionate group of counselors have created relationships with addiction treatment centers throughout the nation. We can help you find the best Percocet recovery program near you.
A frequent side effect of Percocet use (both in the short and long term) is difficulties with the gastrointestinal system, specifically with motility. This often leads to constipation and difficulty with regular bowel movements. Painkillers like Percocet produce a number of other symptoms, including changes in sleeping patterns, marked changes in mood, confusion, low blood pressure, low respiratory rate, difficulties with coordination, and some mental health changes such as new or worsening anxiety or depression.
In addition to physical signs and symptoms, you may also notice behavioral changes in someone who struggles with a Percocet addiction. Percocet can be difficult to obtain because it requires a prescription. Given the state of the current opioid epidemic in the United States, members of the medical community are wary of the number of prescriptions they write. For this reason, many who are addicted to Percocet are unable to obtain enough of the drug through legal means, and therefore they turn two illegal ones. Someone who is addicted to Percocet may begin stealing medications from friends or family members. Also, they may start forging prescriptions or pretend to lose their existing prescriptions to request new ones. Some addicts will also engage in doctor shopping, meaning they visit multiple doctors or pharmacies to obtain numerous Percocet prescriptions.
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Percocet Withdrawal & The Need for Detox
Ongoing addiction to opioids such as Percocet can cause severe and sometimes threatening health complications. It can significantly slow your respiratory rate, which can lead to respiratory arrest. Depending on one’s level of tolerance, they may eventually take so much Percocet they could fall into a coma or die due to an overdose. Detoxing from opioids is complex and requires intensive and comprehensive treatment at an addiction treatment facility where medically supervised detox is available. Again, detoxing from opioid painkillers can be unpleasant and, in some cases, life-threatening. During medically supervised detox, a team of highly trained medical staff is available 24/7 should an emergent medical need arise.
Throughout the process, the team will continually monitor your vital signs to ensure your safety. Depending on the program and your unique circumstances, medications can also be administered to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing alone or “cold Turkey” from opioids can be dangerous due to the lack of medical oversight should dangerous withdrawal symptoms occur. Also, withdrawing in this way often leads to relapse due to withdrawal symptoms becoming too overwhelming to manage on your own. Once you have successfully completed detox transitioning to a comprehensive addiction treatment program will offer the best opportunities for attaining sobriety and long-term recovery.
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How to Find a Percocet Treatment Program Near You
Across the United States, there are thousands of addiction treatment programs; however, not all offer the same level of treatment or provide care for “all” addictions. To ensure the greatest chances for treatment success, it is essential to choose a program that offers treatment unique to your addiction treatment needs and goals. If you are ready to start your journey to sobriety, contact My Recovery Source today. Let us help you find a Percocet treatment program near you.