If you're struggling with addiction to Percocet, you're not alone. It is estimated that 2 million Americans over the age of 12 are recreational users of prescription opioid painkillers. Lexington Drug Treatment Centers can suggest a treatment plan to help you regain control over your life. When taken as directed, Percocet and other opiate-derived painkillers help improve the lives of millions of people who suffer from chronic pain. When taken in a manner other than directed, however, Percocet can be deadly. Here are four things to know about Percocet abuse.
Percocet contains oxycodone, a powerful opioid of the morphinan family. When taken in high doses, Percocet has the same effect on the brain's opioid receptors as illicit drugs like heroin; that is, it causes the brain to become flooded with dopamine, leading to feelings of euphoria and a sense of well-being. Over time, however, more and more of the drug is needed in order to achieve the same euphoric high and prevent unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This effect is called tolerance, and it's what leads some Percocet users to begin abusing the drug. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, continued use of Percocet in this manner can result in a physical and psychological dependence on the drug.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, prolonged Percocet use during pregnancy may cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. If you have been prescribed Percocet while pregnant, it's important to discuss the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome with your health provider.
People struggling with addiction to Percocet can experience negative short-term side effects ranging from mild to life-threatening. These include:
Negative long-term effects associated with chronic use of Percocet, or abuse of the drug at high doses, include:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid painkillers like Percocet are involved in more than half of all opioid overdose deaths. Behaviours that increase the risk of Percocet overdose include:
If someone addicted to Percocet attempts to stop using the drug suddenly, they will experience physical withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to overwhelming distress. Common withdrawal symptoms associated with addiction to Percocet include:
Fortunately, there are counter-indicative medications that can be administered during the detoxification process to help alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and reduce a patient's risk of relapsing. One of these "antidote" medications is buprenorphine, which has proven to be effective in reducing opiate drug cravings and abuse. When used as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program that includes cognitive behavioral therapy and long-term counselling, counter-indicative medications help people addicted to Percocet develop healthy coping skills and learn to face life's challenges without the drug.