Percocet is a prescription painkiller that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen. It treats moderate to severe pain following a surgical procedure or injury, though it can treat chronic pain as well.
Some people believe that Percocet is a safer way to get high because it is legally prescribed. However, this is not the case. While the drug is useful in treating pain, a big enough dose can result in a sense of euphoria that is highly addictive.
Because Percocet is usually prescribed on a short-term basis, users may eventually turn to illegal means to get more of the drug. For example, they may seek out drug dealers, use a fake prescription, see multiple doctors or steal from friends and loved ones.
Below is more information about Percocet addiction, the signs and symptoms to watch for and how an outpatient rehab for substance abuse can help you stop the addiction.
What Makes Percocet Addictive?
Percocet is a narcotic that contains oxycodone, a powerful opioid that is derived from the same source as morphine and other illegal drugs. The oxycodone in Percocet activates the brain’s reward center and causes an intense rush of pleasure. This is what gets people hooked on the drug, and they often need more to create the same experience.
Over time, it is possible to build tolerance to the drug and need higher quantities to achieve the same effects. Then, if you try to quit, you will suffer intense withdrawal effects like agitation, muscle aches, sweating, anxiety and insomnia. Because of the oxycodone in Percocet, withdrawal from the drug is similar to that of other opioids.
The harder the withdrawal, the easier it is to relapse. This is what makes a Percocet addiction difficult to treat. But, it is not impossible. Many people who have a Percocet addiction are in recovery and have been clean for many years. You can do it, too.
Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
There are both physical and social signs of a Percocet addiction. These symptoms typically start after you take Percocet to treat pain. Below are the signs and symptoms to watch for.
- Physical symptoms:
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced breathing rate
- Difficulty with coordination
- Social symptoms:
- Stealing medication from others
- Forging prescriptions
- Doctor or pharmacy shopping
- Unusually excitable; or
- Excessively tired
What are the Consequences of Abusing Percocet?
Like other controlled substances, Percocet abuse has many consequences. In terms of physical complications, Percocet increases your risk for choking and slows your breathing. If your breathing slows too much, you can stop breathing entirely. People who overdose on the drug often do so because they stop breathing and end up in a coma or die.
Using Percocet with other illegal drugs and prescription medications also increases the risk for overdose and death. In fact, certain combinations of medicines can be fatal. For example, mixing alcohol with Percocet is extremely dangerous. The alcohol increases the sedation effects from the oxycodone, which can lead to respiratory depression.
Certainly, abusing drugs also presents problems in work performance and personal relationships. You are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors or take part in criminal activity like forging prescriptions. The only way to stop these consequences is by getting clean and cutting Percocet out of your life.
Treatment for Percocet Addiction
Treatment for a Percocet addiction involves several approaches, including medical detox, counseling and follow up with long-term support. Let’s break them down.
- Medical detox. Detox is one of the most difficult steps because withdrawal effects from Percocet can be intense. Undergoing medical detox makes this process easier because you get medications (i.e., buprenorphine, methadone) to manage symptoms. Most medical detox centers also provide around-the-clock monitoring.
- Treatment. Getting Percocet out of your system is only the first step. Most people need inpatient or outpatient rehab drug treatment to understand the root cause of the addiction and develop new coping skills. Depending on the treatment center, you may have the option to partake in individual and group counseling, alternative therapies and family education.
- Aftercare. Recovery is an ongoing process. Once you complete treatment, you will have an aftercare plan that includes things like going to your 12-step groups, taking medications for a co-occurring mental illness and continuing counseling.
How Outpatient Treatment Centers in Phoenix Can Help
One of the barriers to getting treatment for a Percocet addiction is leaving home for an extended period of time. Some people have a job they don’t want to leave or a family to take care of. Unfortunately, delaying treatment will only make the addiction worse. The good news is that you do have options. Rather than choosing an inpatient treatment program, you can opt for holistic outpatient treatment.
Outpatient programs are highly flexible without compromising quality of care. You can live at home and continue working or going to school while receiving structure, support and counseling. Continuum Recovery Center has a number of recovery services to choose from, including comprehensive day treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, medication assisted treatment and aftercare.
Each person’s journey is unique, but you can expect to need more intense treatment in the beginning that decreases over time. However, it’s reassuring to know that help and support is always close. And, if you find that you need more support at times, you can adjust your treatment to address these needs. Recovery is a long road, and it’s normal to need more or less therapy at times.
Free Yourself from Percocet Today
By contacting our outpatient treatment center in Phoenix, our caring, compassionate admissions representatives will learn about your circumstances and which program is the best fit for your needs. Continuum Recovery Center not only has a number of treatment programs but also various counseling and therapies to match your needs. Contact us today and verify insurance over the phone.