Percocet Addiction Symptoms
Is Percocet Addictive? Percocet Addiction Statistics. Effects of Percocet Addiction. Risks and Dangers of Percocet Addiction.
Is Percocet Addictive?
Percocet is a prescription drug that’s used to treat moderate to severe pain, and it includes both the opioid oxycodone, as well as acetaminophen. This combination is highly effective in treating physical pain. Percocet is often prescribed for people who have acute pain, such as from a surgical operation. Percocet is a controlled substance in the U.S., which means you must have a prescription to legally obtain it. Strict guidelines regulate how Percocet can be prescribed.
Is Percocet addictive? Yes, When you take Percocet or any opioid, it has a profound effect on your brain chemistry. When you take it within about thirty minutes or so, it reaches your brain and binds to your opioid receptors. When that happens, your brain triggers a flood of endorphins that are responsible for making you feel good, as if you can no longer feel pain or even euphoria.
Your body releases endorphins naturally without the use of opioids, but not nearly as much as when you take opioids. Opioids like Percocet affect the brain’s reward center, so if you’re under the influence of opioids, you may feel euphoria, pleasure, and relaxation.
Even after taking Percocet only a few times, your brain may start to think it needs to seek more of the drug to replicate the positive experience of the high. This pattern is how addiction begins. Your brain can almost immediately push you into seeking more of the drug. As you continue using Percocet, your body becomes used to the flood of endorphins that Percocet triggers. Your system no longer sees it as an out-of-the-ordinary experience, and an abnormally high level of endorphins becomes your brain’s new normal.
Percocet Abuse Signs and Symptoms
Percocet abuse signs and symptoms will vary among people based on the length of time the person has been misusing the prescription drug, the amount of the drugs taken, as well as other drugs that are combined with Percocet. The most common Percocet abuse signs and symptoms include:
- Memory loss
- Periods of “blacking out”
- Other substance abuse
- Worsening of mental health disorders
- Sense of emotional well-being
- Feeling carefree
- Dry mouth
- Decreased respiration rate
- Stomach pain
- Damage to vital organs
- Constriction of pupils
- Failure of vital organs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Frequent trips to the emergency room for various pain complaints
- Faking illnesses to receive Percocet prescription
- “Doctor shopping” or going to multiple doctors to obtain greater quantities of Percocet
- Polydrug abuse
- Forging prescriptions for Percocet
- Withdrawing socially from friends and loved ones
- Cessation of once-pleasurable activities
- Long shirts in the summer to cover track marks
- Buying Percocet on the internet
- Loss of appetite
Percocet Addiction Statistics
The following are some of the most important things to know about not only Percocet specifically, but also the opioid epidemic in the United States:
- The Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for the opioid epidemic in 2017
- There are an estimated 115 people that die in the United States from opioid overdoses every day—this includes not only prescription opioids but also heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl
- Anywhere from 21 to 29 percent of people prescribed an opioid for chronic pain misuse them
- It’s believed that an estimated 80 percent of people who use heroin started by abusing prescription opioids first
- Opioid overdoses went up 30 percent from July 2016 to September 2017 in 52 areas throughout 45 states in the U.S.
- Oxycodone, which is the active ingredient in Percocet, is among the top three opioids in the U.S. that have led to the most overdoses and deaths
- In 2011 there were an estimated 32 million prescriptions written for Percocet
- The United States Department of Justice reports that more than 13 million Americans abuse oxycodone
Effects of Percocet Addiction
Individuals may seek to enhance the drug’s pleasurable effects by using the drug for longer than prescribed, taking more Percocet than prescribed, or using it in non-prescribed ways, such as crushing the pills and then snorting or injecting the powder. All of these methods of administration increase the risk of Percocet addiction.
Over time, users need more and more of the drug to achieve the same pleasurable effects once achieved at much lower doses (also known as tolerance). Incremental dosage increases place users at risk of psychological and physiological dependence. Users may begin to spend increasing amounts of time obtaining the drug, using it, and recovering from its effects. They may continue to use despite negative consequences to their health, relationships, or finances.
Due to the Oxycodone in Percocet, there are numerous potential Percocet side effects tied to abuse of the drug. The most commonly recorded physical Percocet side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Memory loss
Potentially serious and more dangerous Percocet effects include:
- Liver toxicity
- Risk of infectious disease like HIV (if injected)
- Respiratory depression (slowed breathing)
Risks and Dangers of Percocet Addiction
When Percocet is not taken properly, dangerous effects can occur. One of the most obvious effects is that of a Percocet overdose. Addicts may take between 20 and 40 tablets a day causing confusion and a risk of overdosing. If the individual does not seek medical attention, the overdose could cause brain damage or death.
Some users who desire stronger effects may take other drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines with the Percocet. This can cause further risks and complications which may include overdose, unconsciousness, and death.
Being under the influence of Percocet can cause the user to have various cognitive impairments, making driving or working difficult. Abusing the medication means that the user may be like this for a long period of time; therefore, they are putting themselves and others at risk for accidents and injuries.
Additional dangerous effects of Percocet abuse and addiction include damage to organs in the body. Percocet abuse can ‘hide’ the symptoms of head injuries as well as cause those who have heart problems to suffer cardiac distress. When Percocet is abused, acetaminophen, one of the active ingredients, can cause serious, even permanent damage to the liver.
A Percocet addiction can lead to problems with the endocrine system. Therefore, men can develop testicular atrophy, while women can develop amenorrhea. This happens because the natural chemicals that help the hypothalamus function have been suppressed during the abuse.
Anyone addicted to Percocet or any other opioid should consult a medical professional before attempting to quit, as withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, and cravings can be intense. Addiction treatment centers may gradually wean a client off the medication or substitute an opioid dependence treatment medication to minimize these effects.
Percocet withdrawal symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle aches
Home detox can be dangerous because of complications that de-stabilize physical and psychiatric conditions quickly and severely. Abrupt discontinuation has caused seizures, convulsions, and coma. Additionally, usual symptoms are exceedingly uncomfortable and withdrawal is often ‘self-medicated’ by resuming use. Without adequate medical supervision, acute withdrawal symptoms may continue for some days and result in:
- Severe dehydration
- Extended hypertensive crisis
Medical assistance is recommended for Percocet withdrawal due to physical and psychiatric health risks. The most common medical method is a gradual lowering (tapering) of the usual dose as medications ease withdrawal symptoms. This process can last up to 2 weeks, depending upon one’s health, the amount of Percocet used, and how long it was used.
Percocet Addiction Treatment
First and foremost, if you think that a loved one is showing Percocet addiction symptoms, you should first research the drug and addiction associated with it so that you can better understand what your loved one needs. Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle their addiction in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, make sure that you offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, offer your support throughout the entire treatment process.
In addition, prolonged Percocet use can have severe physical and psychological effects, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you get through the early stages of withdrawal promptly.
Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of withdrawal, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.
Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.
Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.”
- Person-Centered Therapy – is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
- Solution Focused Therapy – is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.
Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.
Now that we’ve answered the question “how long is Percocet stay in your system?”, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to medically assist your recovery. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.