What is Percocet
Percocet is a powerful opiate-based prescription painkiller. Despite the fact that it can be an incredibly helpful medication, this drug is very potent, which means it is also prone to being abused.
As a prescription medication, Percocet needs to be taken based on preset doses determined by a doctor. However, a lot of people still end up misusing it for a variety of reasons which we will discuss later on. But the main reason for its abuse is the euphoric high created by Percocet and other similar medications.
It is easy for misuse to develop into a more serious problem such as addiction and drug dependence. If a Percocet abuse problem develops, outside help may become necessary in order to overcome it. The person may require medication management and different therapies to conquer their addiction. Here we will also discuss how treatment works for this type of addiction.
But first let’s take a look at some drug abuse statistics that are associated with Percocet. Opioid abuse in general is considered a serious problem in the United States. Opioid use frequently leads to substance abuse issues, drug dependence, addiction, and even death.
In 2020, the total number of opioid prescriptions was 142,816,781. The year prior to that, opioids were involved in 70.6% of overdose deaths. In 2016, the number of opioid-related hospitalizations reached a rate of 297 per 100,000 population.
Percocet and other prescription opioids often serve as the gateway drug for people who end up abusing heroin.
It is also worth noting that between 2017 and 2018, the number of prescriptions for naloxone doubled. This is a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose quickly. It only goes to show that there really is a problem with opioid abuse.
According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, around 0.37% of the adult population in the US is affected by opioid use disorder. This includes Percocet addiction.
If you or someone you love is struggling with Percocet addiction or any similar problem, it is important to know everything there is to know about their disorder. This will guide you on your journey to finding the right treatment center for your loved one. Today we will be discussing Percocet: the signs, symptoms, and effects of addiction, as well as how to choose the right addiction treatment center. Let’s take a closer look. LEARN MORE
What is Percocet?
Before we can understand addiction to the substance, we must talk about what the substance is. Percocet is the combination drug that contains acetaminophen and oxycodone. This is an opioid medication that is used to relieve pain particularly for those cases wherein non-opioid medications aren’t enough to control the pain.
Acetaminophen is a non-opioid substance while oxycodone is an opioid that binds to certain receptors in your brain to change the way it reacts to pain. Combined, these two painkillers make a very potent medication that works best for people with moderate to severe pain.
It is very easy to get hooked on Percocet if you don’t use it right. With that in mind, make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions carefully before taking Percocet. If anything is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist.
A few helpful things to keep in mind: Percocet may be taken with or without food. However, avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Percocet as this may increase the chances of getting side effects.
If your doctor gives you a liquid form of Percocet, use a measuring device for medications instead of just using a regular spoon. This will ensure that you get the proper dosage right. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than you are supposed to. When the doctor tells you to stop taking the medication, you have to stop.
For those who have been taking this medication for a while, suddenly stopping your intake may cause withdrawal. Your doctor may gradually lower your dose to prevent this from happening. Don’t forget to inform your doctor if you encounter any withdrawal symptoms from Percocet. Withdrawal symptoms may include restlessness, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, mood swings, anxiety, sleeping difficulties, suicidal ideation, watering eyes, muscle aches, and other behavioral or physical changes.
Percocet is not typically used for a long time because eventually the patient may develop tolerance for it, meaning it will no longer work as well as it used to. Also keep your doctor informed in case this medication stops working for you. LEARN MORE
Causes of Percocet Abuse
An individual who takes Percocet as prescribed may experience pain relief with minimal risks. But this drug also causes euphoric effects that may influence someone to take it more often or in larger doses than recommended.
Some people make the mistake of misusing their prescription. Others take Percocet deliberately in order to get high. Whether it is used recreationally or for pain relieving purposes, the chance of getting addicted is there. In fact, both ingredients within Percocet are enough to endanger someone who abuses the substance. Eventually, the misuse of Percocet can lead to an addiction.
There are plenty of factors that can impact a person’s chances of developing a substance use disorder. Not everyone experiences addiction the same way. There are genetic and environmental factors that can make a person more or less likely to become addicted to Percocet or other drugs.
According to the American Psychiatric Association or APA, characteristics such as impulsiveness can be inherited from relatives. There are many other genetic factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing a problem with chemical dependency. Having relatives who have struggled with addiction or substance use disorder can increase someone’s chances of developing addiction themselves at some point in their life.
Aside from genetic factors, people are exposed to other risk factors from their environment. The more risk factors a person is exposed to, the more likely it is that they will develop an addiction.
Being prescribed medication such as Percocet and other opioids is actually one of the risk factors. Having a family history of addiction and substance abuse is another one. Other examples of risk factors are impulsivity, gender, prior substance abuse, stress, poverty, history of mental illness, peer pressure, positive attitude towards recreational drugs, etc.
Just because someone has these risk factors doesn’t guarantee that they will become addicted later in life. It simply means their risk of getting addicted is higher than someone who isn’t as exposed to substance use. LEARN MORE
Symptoms of Percocet Abuse
If you really think someone you care about is abusing Percocet, you need to know what signs and symptoms to look out for. This will help you confirm if the person is struggling with a substance use disorder.
Keep in mind that substance use disorder is a chronic condition and it can affect people in different ways. That said, the person abusing Percocet may exhibit certain physical and behavioral changes. These will be noticeable to everyone around them, including their friends and family members. It can even reach a point where their Percocet misuse slowly makes them unrecognizable in terms of their behavior.
A person who is abusing Percocet may begin to distance themselves from their loved ones out of shame or regret. They will spend a lot of time thinking about the drug and trying to obtain it. They may lie about their drug intake or run out of their prescription much sooner than they are supposed to,
They may also begin to lose interest in things they used to enjoy, including their hobbies and other recreational activities. Someone who is addicted to Percocet will spend a lot of time and money trying to acquire the drug. They may even begin to take drastic measures for it. A lot of people who are addicted to prescription drugs try “doctor shopping”, which is the act of visiting multiple doctors in an attempt to receive the same prescription repeatedly.
Some people may try to steal medication from others, or pretend to lose theirs. Either they will steal the medication from other people or steal money to buy more of it illicitly. Some even try to fake their pain or exaggerate their health issues to obtain more Percocet.
Addicted individuals often try to reduce their intake or quit entirely only to fall back into their old ways. Relapse is a common part of the addiction treatment journey, but recovering on your own by quitting cold turkey is never a good idea. You may just relapse due to withdrawal symptoms or intense cravings.
Aside from behavioral changes, you should also look out for physical symptoms of substance abuse such as exhaustion, losing weight, slow heart rate, problems with motor skills, constipation, slurred speech, insomnia, shallow breathing, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems. LEARN MORE
Effects of Percocet Addiction
Addiction is a medical condition that is characterized by the compulsive need to take a certain substance even when you are already suffering from its effects. A person who is addicted to Percocet will keep finding ways to take it even if they are already experiencing various physical and mental health effects.
Keep in mind that addiction is not a problem of willpower. People can’t just decide to quit whenever they want to. They are addicted because they cannot stop taking opioids even if they want to. Addicted individuals genuinely struggle to keep their drug intake under control despite their great efforts.
Their relationships may begin to crumble as they neglect the people in their life in favor of Percocet. They will also neglect their responsibilities, which may lead to family problems and financial problems.
There are many possible outcomes that can stem from a Percocet addiction, especially since addiction affects everyone differently. Some people suffer from damage to their vital organs, while others struggle with suicidal ideation.
Addicted individuals may also get in trouble with the law due to their reckless decisions. This may cause them to harm themselves or other people. It may even lead to fatal accidents on the road.
Due to their poor performance at work, they may suffer from financial problems, job loss, unemployment, etc. Addiction does not just affect your body, it affects the lives of everyone around you too.
Finally, it is common for people with addiction to have co-occurring mental health disorders like anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive disorders, bipolar disorders, etc. These mental health conditions may make it more difficult for the person to recover, which is why it is ideal to tackle these two problems at the same time through a dual diagnosis rehab center. LEARN MORE
Withdrawal Symptoms of Percocet
It’s not a good idea to just randomly quit a medication especially if you have been taking it for a while. The reason for that is withdrawal. Withdrawal is an uncomfortable period wherein the body readjusts to the absence of a certain substance. In this case, if a person has developed dependence for Percocet, their body will react negatively once they stop taking it. This is why you need to be weaned off the substance gradually through a process called detox.
Common withdrawal symptoms for Percocet include: tremors, twitches, runny nose, excessive sweating, dysphoria, watery eyes, insomnia, increased body temperature, and diarrhea. The person in withdrawal will also experience intense cravings for Percocet.
Aside from withdrawal, you should also know the potential signs and symptoms of a drug overdose. If after taking Percocet the patient experiences shallow or labored breathing, memory loss, unconsciousness, slowed heartbeat, slurred speech, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping, seek immediate medical attention. These are signs and symptoms of a Percocet overdose.
Opioids are known for being extremely powerful, and so they may cause serious withdrawal symptoms including coma and even death. This is why you should always follow the doctor’s prescription carefully. LEARN MORE
How Does Percocet Addiction Treatment Work?
Now that you know some of the potential effects of Percocet addiction, it’s time to talk about treatment. Knowing what to expect from a drug rehab facility should ease a lot of your worries and anxieties about seeking treatment.
The addiction treatment process for Percocet addiction typically consists of five steps: intake, detox, addiction rehab, specialized treatment, and aftercare. This is also the setup for most other types of addiction.
The intake period is a basic physical checkup and an interview that will help the treatment center come up with a personalized treatment plan that suits your specific needs. Medical professionals will assess your existing physical and psychological conditions to see what type of care would work best for you.
Treatment always looks different for every person. That is because people have different reasons for abusing drugs, and also different symptoms, different risk factors, and different triggers. There is no one solution that will solve all your problems involving Percocet. The best rehab centers take a personalized approach to recovery.
Detox, also known as medical detox, is the part of the addiction treatment process wherein the addicted individual slowly lowers his drug intake. During this crucial stage of treatment, the patient’s withdrawal symptoms are managed by a team of medical professionals. Their goal is to make the detox process as comfortable as possible so you can focus on treatment.
Speaking of which, addiction treatment consists of behavioral therapy, addiction counseling, and many other programs that can help you get to the bottom of your addictive behavior. This is where most rehab centers vary in approach. Some facilities offer group therapy, others focus on family therapy etc. There are others that offer group therapy, individual therapy, and alternative treatment programs like art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, etc.
Finally, aftercare is all about keeping patients sober. During rehab, you learn how to get sober, but the real challenge is staying sober. This is why people in Percocet addiction treatment learn many different ways to cope with their cravings without going back to abusing substances. They pick up healthy learning mechanisms during their rehab stay, which they can use once they are out of rehab.LEARN MORE
Medications for Percocet Detox
The detox process is often done with the assistance of medications. Medications can keep withdrawal symptoms and cravings under control, which makes the process a lot more comfortable for the patient.
Some of the medications used for Percocet detox are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.
Methadone is an agonist drug that helps lessen the cravings for Percocet. It also reduces the effects of withdrawal. Similarly, buprenorphine can be used to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Naltrexone can block the high caused by Percocet so that it does not cause the same euphoric sensation that keeps the patient addicted. Like methadone and buprenorphine, this can help lessen the cravings for Percocet. LEARN MORE
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Percocet Addiction Treatment
When you get to the part where you have to choose a rehab facility for you or your loved one, you will have to choose between an inpatient or outpatient rehab program. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. It mostly depends on the patient’s condition.
Inpatient rehab requires the patient to stay in a drug rehab center for the entirety of the program. This is an intensive and structured treatment that gives patients a safe and comfortable environment where they can just focus on their recovery. This is ideal for patients with moderate to severe cases of addiction to Percocet. Here they can receive round the clock care from addiction experts and medical professionals.
Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, is for patients with less severe cases of addiction. Outpatient rehab does not require you to stay in a treatment center, but it does involve plenty of scheduled visits throughout the week. This flexible setup is ideal for people who need to receive addiction treatment while going to work, attending classes, or taking care of their family. It is less structured than inpatient rehab, but it can still work wonders for certain patients.
During the intake process, the patient can find out which one is a better fit for their specific situation and treatment goals.
Substance Abuse Treatment Options for People with Percocet Addiction
Inpatient vs. outpatient rehab is only one of the first decisions you will have to make when choosing a treatment facility. Different rehabs offer different treatment programs designed to tackle opioid addiction.
Examples of addiction treatment programs for Percocet addiction include trauma therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, mindfulness-based sobriety, 12-step support groups, and relapse prevention. There are also withdrawal management programs, residential rehab, partial hospitalization programs (PHP), and intensive outpatient programs.
Some of these programs do not require the patient to stay in the rehab facility. This means they get to go home and stay with their family when they are not receiving treatment. Programs like partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs are ideal for patients with a strong social support system and close personal connections with family members.
Other programs like relapse prevention and withdrawal management are geared towards making sure that the patient can stay sober once they finish their treatment. Some patients even go into sober living and ongoing care to make sure their transition back into the real world goes as smoothly as possible.
Patients who have found long term success in keeping their addiction under control benefited from taking a closer look at what each Percocet addiction treatment offered. LEARN MORE
Family Therapy Sessions
As we have established, the family plays an important role in the treatment of Percocet addiction—or any type of addiction for that matter. Family therapy sessions are beneficial because resolving family issues can make it easier for the patient to recover from their addiction.
These therapy sessions allow each family member to face unresolved issues like resentments, misunderstandings, etc.
Addiction affects the family unit just as much as it affects the addicted individual. A toxic family environment often leads to addictive habits that develop into full blown substance use disorders. Addressing these problems can only be beneficial for the person in recovery.
No matter which member of the family it is, getting support from the other family members can speed up the recovery process significantly. Family members can talk about a son’s battle with addiction and the issues that led him to developing it. They can talk about their daughter’s sobriety or her recovery process. Every member of the family can contribute and learn healthy ways to communicate.
Family therapy can help the entire unit share difficult emotions like anger, disappointment, fear, stress, frustration, and shame—all while in a safe and therapeutic environment. LEARN MORE
Choosing a Percocet Rehab Program near Me
With all the options available for treating Percocet addiction, it may feel overwhelming to choose the right one. It’s a good idea to find a rehab near you and just ask them to assess your loved one. They may be able to give great recommendations based on the patient’s condition and current situation.
You can also narrow down your options by asking yourself some important questions like how severe is their condition? Would they benefit more from an inpatient or outpatient setting? Are there rehab facilities near your location? Should you travel or stay close to home?
There is also the concern over costs and insurance coverage. Generally speaking, inpatient treatment is costlier than outpatient rehab since food and accommodations will be provided by the rehab facility for the entirety of the program. Ask your insurance provider if they can help cover the costs of addiction treatment.
But don’t worry, a lot of rehab facilities also offer payment plans to help make treatment more accessible. Remember that your health is worth investing on. So if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to seek proper medical help. Get started on the road to recovery today. LEARN MORE