"Everywhere I travel, I see communities devastated by opioid overdoses. I meet families too ashamed to seek treatment for addiction. And I will never forget my own patient whose opioid use disorder began with a course of morphine after a routine procedure." - Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General
American citizens from all walks of life have been impacted by the opioid crisis.
Opioids like Percocet cause physical, emotional, and psychological damage to users and those close to them. If you use Percocet outside of a doctor's prescription, you can cause problems for yourself and others. If you use Percocet recreationally, you could become one of the more than 64,000 Americans to die from a drug overdose each year.
Getting the appropriate Percocet abuse facts can help you know what you need to do to recover if you have an addiction. Recovering from Percocet abuse or Percocet addiction can be difficult, but it is possible and worthwhile.
Check out this video for a glimpse of a well-known celebrity's experience with Percocet and information on how Percocet affects the body.
Read more below to find answers to your questions about Percocet, Percocet abuse, Percocet addiction, and Percocet rehab.
Heroin was first used as a prescription painkiller in Germany, but quickly became illegal because of its highly-addictive properties. As a result, two German scientists developed Oxycodone. This drug was marketed as a non-addictive substitute for heroin, morphine, and opium. Many common prescription drugs for pain now include Oxycodone.
"Products containing Oxycodone in combination with aspirin or acetaminophen are used for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. Oxycodone is a widely prescribed in the U.S. and the controlled-release tablets are prescribed for the management of moderate to severe pain when a continuous, around-the-clock analgesic is needed for an extended period of time. Oxycodone is a widely prescribed in the U.S. In 2013, 58.8 million Oxycodone prescriptions were dispensed." - The US Drug Enforcement Agency
Percocet is a prescription drug often prescribed for patients with chronic pain. Percocet is an opioid like oxycontin, Oxycodone, vicodin, heroin, Fentanyl, and many others. Like other prescription drugs, Percocet can be helpful if taken under the supervision of a doctor, but it is often used incorrectly and unsafely.
Unfortunately, Percocet abuse is becoming more and more common. More often than not, those who abuse Percocet on a regular basis quickly find that they've formed a Percocet addiction. If this sounds familiar, you may be addicted to or dependent on Percocet.
Percocet is the brand name of a drug including:
"As the body's tolerance grows stronger, the need for stronger drugs also grows. Vicodin and Norco lead to Percocet, which leads eventually to Oxy, which (if you survive the Oxy) leads to a much cheaper and easier to get drug than these boutique prescription pills: heroin. Keep in mind, everything you need to gain a crippling heroin dependence is available to you via your local physician and/or pharmacist." - Brian W. Foster
Yes. Opioids are a class of drugs derived from the Opium plant. They include heroin, synthetic drugs like Fentanyl, and several prescription pain medications.
Yes. Used correctly and as prescribed by a doctor, Percocet is often used to control pain from injuries or after surgeries. Oxycodone, one of the two ingredients, is an analgesic. This means that it is marketed as a pain reliever.
Yes. A narcotic is defined as a substance that affects mood or behavior sold for nonmedical purposes. Often, Percocet addicts or Percocet abusers will take Percocet for a feeling of relaxation.
Yes. Percocet can only legally be acquired with a prescription from a doctor.
Yes. Percocet can be bought illegally under the names "perks," "percs," and sometimes "hillbilly heroin."
Percocet is a pain reliever that treats moderate to moderately severe pain caused by injury, surgery, or other situations.
Percocet is classified as a schedule II drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. This means that there is a high likelihood of Percocet abuse that could lead to a psychological or physical dependence on Percocet.
Percocet comes in the form of a pill. These can be
Percocet is made by Endo Pharmaceuticals, a branch of Endo International.
Having Percocet without a prescription is illegal and can result in prison time and criminal fines. The amount you can be fined depends on the state in which you are arrested. Having Percocet with the intent to sell it to others who do not have a prescription is a federal felony and can result in longer prison times and higher criminal fines.
Like heroin and morphine, Percocet affects the brain and the central nervous system. It changes the way the brain perceives pain and elicits a dopamine response in key regions of the brain.
Check out this video for a visual representation of the brain's interaction with opioids.
The most recent Percocet abuse statistics shed a great deal of light on how detrimental Percocet use has been in the United States. By 2008, there had been more than 300,000 emergency room admissions because of prescription drugs like Percocet. From 2004 to 2008, the number of ER visits because of medications like Percocet increased by 152%.
It's obvious that Percocet abuse is a very serious problem, and there are so many people who continue to use it without realizing how damaging it can be to them. It is important to see the difference between Percocet abuse and Percocet addiction, because they are not the same thing. Percocet abuse refers to the act of using Percocet outside of a doctor's prescription.
It can involve using it without a prescription, or altering the medication and taking it in a way that's different from swallowing the pills. If you aren't compelled to take Percocet and use it on a regular basis, and it is purely recreational, it is not an addiction. Still, that doesn't mean that it won't become an addiction in the future.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and long-lasting changes in the brain. The changes can result in harmful behaviors by those who misuse drugs, whether prescription or illicit drugs." - National Institute on Drug Abuse
It's common for people to have Percocet addictions without really realizing that that's what has happened to them. Far too many continue on in their Percocet use, and they feel as though they can stop using it any time they want to. In fact, sometimes people do try to stop using Percocet, and they find that they're not able to, and only then is their addiction discovered.
"Too often, doctors prescribe potentially dangerous medications to patients who shouldn't be getting them, and what they prescribe is influenced by the pills patients ask for. Patient requests for certain medications - such as the powerful narcotic Oxycodone - substantially affected physician-prescribing decisions, despite the drawbacks of the requested medications."
- BusinessInsider's account of a 2014 study from the Medical Care journal
This report highlights just how much of a role doctor's prescriptions play in building dependence on Oxycodone around the United States.
Often, Percocet addiction begins with a prescription for Percocet or another prescription opioid. If someone misuses the drug or has a genetic tendency towards addiction, this can cause problems.
Watch this video to understand how the body can so quickly become dependent on opioids like Percocet.
To understand just how easy it is for Percocet addiction to take shape, consider this account from a Registered Nurse who became addicted after being legally prescribed the drug:
"The best way I can describe the feeling I had when taking the Percocet is that all was right with the world. I felt that I could function at a higher level, and that I had more energy and motivation. Stressful situations seemed easily manageable, and I felt more focused on whatever I happened to be doing. I did not perceive that anything was wrong with taking the Percocet after the reason it was prescribed had resolved, because after all, they had been prescribed to me. Maybe I did know better, but the feeling I received from the medication pushed any questions I might have had out of my head."
Like the nurse quoted above, many who take Percocet legally enjoy it so much that they continue to take it long after it's necessary for pain management.
Percocet and heroin are surprisingly similar in their chemical makeup and effect on the body. However, there are several ways in which Percocet and heroin are different:
Click here to learn more about the similarities and differences between heroin and Percocet.
As Jamie Lee Curtis once said about addiction, "This is a family disease."
Percocet addiction or addiction to prescription drugs doesn't just affect you. Iit affects everyone around you and everyone who cares about you.
Percocet addiction can change your personality, interests, and physical health. When you are addicted, you make Percocet your highest priority.
Percocet addiction has a negative impact on all parts of your life. It can even affect your relationships with those closest to you. Is that something you want to see happen, or do you want to seek help?
There are several warning signs to let you know if you are addicted to Percocet. Percocet addiction is different from Percocet abuse. It's important that you are honest with yourself about what you are experiencing. The following symptoms could be signs of Percocet addiction:
Percocet is a very powerful and dangerous drug that has serious medical and physical consequences with continued use. Some of the short and long-term effects of Percocet include:
Fortunately, these aren't side effects that you are destined to live with for the rest of your life. Help is available for you that can assist you with recovery.
When you stop taking Percocet on your own, you will probably develop withdrawal symptoms that might include:
These withdrawal symptoms of Percocet are caused by the body's inability to function without the drug after becoming dependent on it. Some of these symptoms are opposites of the common side effects of taking Percocet. The most common side effects of Percocet are:
Percocet withdrawal symptoms are both dangerous and unpleasant. It's best to stop using Percocet with professionals who can help you by alleviating your withdrawal symptoms. This allows for a much easier transition into being drug-free.
Because Percocet is made up of two different drugs, there are two different types of Percocet overdoses possible.
Signs that someone is experiencing a Percocet overdose include:
Dr. Sarah Wakeman recommends checking if someone is unconscious by rubbing your knuckles on their collarbone. This will wake someone who is simply sleeping, but not someone who has overdosed.
Because of these dangerous possibilities of overdosing on Percocet, MedlinePlus recommends always having Naloxone available when using Percocet or any form of Oxycodone. This is a medication designed to negate the most dangerous symptoms of opiates in the nervous system.
"Naloxone works by blocking the effects of opiates to relieve dangerous symptoms caused by high levels of opiates in the blood. You will probably be unable to treat yourself if you experience an opiate overdose. You should make sure that your family members, caregivers, or the people who spend time with you know how to tell if you are experiencing an overdose, how to use naloxone, and what to do until emergency medical help arrives."
Percocet addiction is serious but not something you cannot overcome. Percocet withdrawal on your own can be dangerous (as you see above), so it's important to know your recovery options and the best ways to avoid a relapse.
Because of the changes that occur in your body when you become addicted to Percocet, it's both difficult and dangerous to quit taking Percocet too quickly or suddenly. It's also dangerous to do so alone and unsupervised by medical professionals.
Detox programs provide trained professionals and a safe environment to detox from Percocet.
It's important to understand the difference between withdrawal and detox.
Any detox process is just the first step in recovering from Percocet addiction. Other support - such as counseling - must continue after detox to combat the psychological side of the addiction.
There are four main medications that professionals use to aid in the Percocet detox process.
Inpatient rehab is when a patient goes to live in a facility for the course of their recovery from Percocet addiction. The benefits to inpatient recovery include:
Some of the downsides to inpatient rehab for Percocet addiction include:
Inpatient rehab tends to have the highest success rate of all treatment options for those recovering from addictions.
Outpatient rehab is a treatment process in which a patient comes to the rehab facility regularly but does not live there. Benefits include:
Like inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab has downsides, too.
For these reasons, outpatient treatment is often less effective than inpatient treatment. Those who have gone through outpatient rehab are more likely to relapse.
There are many groups worldwide that aid addicts in recovery with group meetings and encouragement. Often, participants in these groups work through 12 steps in their path to recovery.
One of the most popular 12 step programs for those recovering from Percocet addiction or addiction to other opioids is Narcotics Anonymous. Narcotics Anonymous recommends attending a meeting every day for 90 days as you first begin your journey to recovery.
Narcotics Anonymous is not affiliated with a religion, but the 12 steps include a belief in a Higher Power. This Higher Power can refer to any number of religions or other ideas, and is very inclusive in its meaning.
The 12 steps of NA are:
Often, programs like Narcotics Anonymous can be helpful for those still recovering from Percocet addiction. Groups like this can be a good source of accountability to prevent relapse.
There are many types of therapy and counseling form which to choose when recovering from Percocet addiction. They include:
You may realize that you have an addiction to Percocet, and that thought might make you feel a bit apprehensive about what your next step should be. It's best to not attempt to stop Percocet on your own. The withdrawal symptoms you might experience can be severe. If you were to relapse, your risk of overdose could be quite high because of changes in tolerance levels.
"The best advice I can give to anyone going through a rough patch is to never be afraid to ask for help." - Demi Lovato
If you suspect that you or someone you know is addicted to Percocet, it's best to get professional help soon. You can take our quiz to determine if someone is at risk of addiction. Or, sign up for a free phone addiction assessment with a trained expert.
If you're interested in reading others' accounts of addiction, check out our blog.
If you conclude that you're addicted to Percocet, the next step is to ask someone for help. In this way, you can stop using Percocet before it's too late.
The best way to stop using Percocet is to do so in a controlled, medical environment such as Percocet addiction treatment centers in Washington.
At Northpoint Recovery, we know how you feel about realizing that you have an addiction to this dangerous drug. We've had the privilege of working with so many people who have suffered with this type of addiction, and we've been able to help them successfully overcome it. We'd love to work with you as well. To learn more, or to get started right away, please contact us.
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Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab and addiction counseling located in Boise, Idaho.
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