Medications containing the ingredient oxycodone are highly addictive and often abused. One such medication is Percocet®, which is a name brand prescription pain medication. Percocet addiction can have a number of short-term and long-term effects. Chief among these is dependence or addiction. Prescription drug abuse is a treatable condition. In addition to this article discussing more about the struggles of Percocet addiction, there is also addiction treatment
information as well. If someone you care about is struggling and abusing this drug, get them help today.
What is Percocet and why is it Prescribed?
Percocet® is a commonly abused prescription drug. It is a combination of a narcotic called oxycodone
and acetaminophen. These two medications have a synergistic effect on pain when they are combined. It is the narcotic part of this drug that is addictive. It reduces a person's level of consciousness, lowering his ability to think or be fully aware of their surroundings.
Percocet® is prescribed for moderate to moderately severe pain. The oxycodone binds to pain receptors in the brain, which reduces the sensation of pain. The acetaminophen halts the production of prostaglandins that cause pain. It is a Schedule II drug. This means it has a high potential for prescription drug addiction
and is carefully distributed by pharmacies.
Statistics and Information on Percocet Addiction
Three out of every four drugs used illegally in the U.S. are prescription drugs, and abuse of prescription drugs has doubled in the past 10 years. Four million people were estimated to be abusing prescription drugs in 1999. For a person with a painkiller addiction, it is usually taken orally, chewed, or crushed (then snorted). It is not uncommon to find individuals with a physical and emotional dependence on this drug that are taking between 20 - 40 pills daily.
The chance for an individual to develop an addiction to Percocet increases with prolonged use (over 2-3 weeks). The risk of addiction is greatest among women, seniors, and adolescents. Women are two to three times more likely than men to be prescribed this particular drug. Women are also about two times more likely to form a physical and emotional dependence.
Percocet is both physically and emotionally addictive. It acts as a "block" to pain receptors in the brain and affects the brain by producing an enjoyable and euphoric feeling. It is this feeling that people with a Percocet addiction continue to try and recreate. Prescription drug abuse usually develops without the individual realizing it until it begins to control their life. Once addicted the person will exceed the dosage prescribed or seek to illegally obtain more of the drug after the time prescribed by their physician.
Withdrawal Symptoms from Percocet
|Withdrawal Symptoms of Percocet|
- Flu-like Feeling
- Gastrointestinal Discomfort
- Nausea / Vomiting
- Muscle Pain
- Runny Nose / Eyes
Someone who takes Percocet® daily can become physically dependent. If this happens the person will show signs of narcotic withdrawal if the use of the drug is suddenly stopped. A dependency for pain is not the same thing as an addiction. A person who is addicted to Percocet will obtain it and abuse it because of a psychological need, and not just to treat a legitimate painful condition.
Abruptly stopping or reducing the intake of this prescription drug can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. These begin six to eight hours after the last dosage. Abruptly discontinuing its use can cause a person to have seizures or convulsions. Because of this, withdrawal from Percocet should be gradual. Other symptoms of withdrawal may include flu-like feeling, gastrointestinal distress, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, fevers, sweating, or runny nose and eyes.
When most people enter a drug rehab center
, there has already been a lot of emotional damage to themselves and others. Time is needed to resolve this emotional damage and restore the trust of loved ones. The time in a prescription drug abuse program is only the beginning of this healing process.
Prior to a person being admitted into our program for treatment, we complete a comprehensive intake assessment
. This includes both information as to the amount and time of abuse, as well as the person's current health status. This information helps us to structure an individualized addiction treatment program. Our basic program is structured on the well-proven and effective 12-step program
. To this we add both cognitive and experiential therapies. We also have a very effective family week program that is offered every third week. Our family program helps families and loved ones understand the nature of prescription drug abuse. It will help them to be a better support to their loved one after he or she has completed their treatment.