What Is Percocet?
Percocet is the brand name for a prescription-only painkiller that combines the non-narcotic acetaminophen and the narcotic oxycodone. Acetaminophen is a less powerful painkiller that serves to increase the effects of oxycodone in your system, and it’s the active ingredient in Tylenol. Oxycodone is a powerful opioid or narcotic pain medication that’s derived from the same source as morphine as well as some illegal drugs such as heroin.
Percocet is a schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a high risk for abuse. The effects of Percocet are typically short term, lasting about four to six hours. Its effects include pain relief and sleepiness, and in some individuals, it creates a pleasant euphoria.
In terms of Percocet history, the drug is relatively new on the market and was approved for use in 1976. Percocet is used to relieve moderate to severe short-term pain. It works by modifying the way your brain and body perceive pain and can cause you to experience feelings of euphoria.
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Commonly Used Synonyms for Percocet
You should be aware of the various slang terms for the drug. These include:
- Hillbilly heroin
- 512s (this refers to the generic brand of the drug that has the numbers 512 printed on the 5mg pill)
The brand names for Percocet include Endocet, Roxicet, Primlev, Tylox, Xolox and Magnacet.
What Is Percocet Usually Prescribed For?
Percocet is usually prescribed for you if you require continuous short-term pain relief or if you are in moderate to severe pain as a result of a chronic condition, such as cancer. It is also prescribed for pain resulting from injuries you suffer, such as breaks and fractures, as well as for post-surgical pain.
How Does Percocet Interact With Other Drugs?
Besides taking Percocet for only what it is prescribed for, it is imperative to inform your doctor of any other medications you are taking when you’re prescribed Percocet. Opioids affect your central nervous system, so you should never mix them with other drugs that slow your brain. Some of these are:
- Muscle relaxers
- Sleeping pills, tranquilizers and sedatives
- Anticholinergic drugs (drugs used for urinary spasms, antihistamines and more)
- Other opioids
- Anti-seizure medications
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Acetaminophen (as this is already an ingredient in Percocet)
Is Percocet Addictive?
You may be wondering if Percocet is addictive? The answer is yes. Percocet is a highly addictive drug. However, this shouldn’t deter you from taking it as prescribed by your doctor. As with most drugs, dependence to acetaminophen and oxycodone is unlikely when used as prescribed.
However, oxycodone can produce a drug dependency similar to a morphine dependency, which supports its high risk for abuse. If you take Percocet for longer periods, you will have a higher risk of addiction.
The history of Percocet use shows that it is highly addictive. If you’ve become dependent on the drug, you may have been initially prescribed to use it for legitimate medical reasons. Over time, however, you may find yourself unable to quit. One of the main reasons for this is that the withdrawal symptoms can be very debilitating and difficult to deal with.
It is important for you to know that some people are at a higher risk of developing a Percocet addiction. According to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Prescription Monitoring Program, the biggest increase of prescription drug use in non-medical users is in individuals in the twelve to twenty-five age bracket. Seniors are also a high risk group as they tend to take more medications than any other age group.
Key Statistics About Percocet Abuse and Addiction
Percocet abuse is a widespread issue in the U.S. today. It affects people from all walks of life, and it is important that it is addressed as it is ruining lives. There are several key facts and statistics about Percocet abuse and addiction for you to be aware of, including:
- Percocet is classified as a Schedule II narcotic by the DEA. This means that even though it has medical benefits when used as directed by a doctor, it also has a high potential for abuse.
- Oxycodone is twice as strong as morphine.
- From 1993 to 2012, the rate of inpatient stays that included an opioid overuse diagnosis increased by more than 150 percent.
- By 2012, there were 709,500 opioid-related hospital admissions. This works out to 295.6 stays per 100,000 people.
- According to a study published in Behavioral Pharmacology, you could become essentially immune to the effects of oxycodone within five days. This suggests that addictive behaviors could begin as soon as a week after a person begins to take Percocet.
Facts About Percocet Addiction
Although prescription opiate abuse is commonplace as indicated by the key statistics above, you may be unaware of these four Percocet facts:
- Percocet pills become far more dangerous when crushed or cut. This is because each tablet is designed for extended release of the oxycodone. When you crush or cut Percocet tablets in order to be injected or snorted, you experience a stronger and faster high. This also means that you have a higher risk of a Percocet overdose.
- Although Percocet is a prescription medication, this doesn’t mean that it is in any way safer than illicit drugs. In fact, Percocet is a central nervous system depressant. It can cause you to experience respiratory depression, coma, and sometimes even death. This is not the case, however, when you follow the directions for your prescription as detailed by your doctor. It is when you abuse this medication that real issues and problems can occur.
- You may be worrying about committing to treatment, as you know that the withdrawal process can be notoriously difficult. However, there are medications that can help you through the withdrawal process, and curb cravings. Weaker opiates such as Suboxone and methadone actively block opioid receptors, resulting in an easier withdrawal experience.
- Addiction to Percocet is a disease that is best and most successfully treated with a holistic approach, like the approach used at 12 Keys Rehab.
What Does Percocet Do to the Brain?
Regular use of opiates creates structural changes within your brain. Percocet creates euphoric and analgesic effects by binding itself to opiate receptors. When you regularly use the drug, this makes your brain grow more opiate receptors which need more of the drug to fill them.
If your opiate receptors are not filled, you’ll feel increasingly sore and depressed. Once more opiate receptors are created within your brain, you’ll need the drug to supplement natural opiate chemical levels. You can become dependent on the drug at this stage, and will experience withdrawal symptoms if it is not taken regularly. This is called Percocet dependence.
If you take the drug as directed by your doctor and on a short-term basis, you need not worry about becoming addicted. After extended use, however, you may develop a physical dependence on Percocet. Consequently, if you regularly exceed the recommended frequency or dose and if you use the drug to get high, there is a real likelihood that you will become addicted and physically dependent.
When you are addicted to Percocet, you struggle with long-lasting cravings and withdrawal symptoms after quitting. If you are physically dependent, you will feel withdrawal, but no cravings. It is imperative that you seek addiction treatment if you’re suffering from drug cravings, in order to overcome the very real risk of relapse.
What Is a Percocet Addiction Like?
Percocet addiction, like all addictions, is lonely and damaging. Addictive behaviors are self-destructive, and often you become desperate and ridden with guilt as a result of hiding Percocet addiction signs from those closest to you.
Signs of Percocet addiction include using other people's’ prescriptions. You may also be obsessively preoccupied with regard to obtaining your next dose. Chronic use of the drug may result in tolerance, which means you will need increasingly higher doses to achieve the desired effect. Your body will learn to adapt to the presence of the drug, resulting in addiction.
Your family bonds will probably become damaged as both the trust and the lines of communication are broken. Thankfully, we can help you repair your relationships and resolve your issues through family counseling sessions. These can be undertaken either in person or via the telephone.
Percocet addiction is very frightening as it is incredibly difficult for you to break the cycle without outside help.
Signs of Percocet Addiction to Look Out For
Addiction involves a psychological compulsion to seek the drug, as well as a loss of control when taking it. There are also other warning signs of addiction to look out for. Consider these Percocet addiction signs in yourself or loved one:
Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
There are many common Percocet abuse symptoms that are associated with Percocet addiction. If you or a loved one are suffering with any of the following, it is time to get help:
- Withdrawn behavior
- Mood fluctuations
- Personality changes
- Slow breathing rate
- Tiny pupils
- Dry mouth
Consequences of Percocet Addiction
Now that you know the signs and symptoms of Percocet abuse, you should be aware of the many negative consequences of Percocet addiction. These make it important for you to seek help and change as soon as possible:
- Depression of the central nervous system. In addition to the serious health complications caused by opioid use, the drug can also cause your breathing to slow and can increase your choking risk due to the fact that the drug depresses your central nervous system. This is incredibly dangerous as it can stop your breathing entirely, resulting in coma or even death.
- Using other drugs. If you are abusing Percocet, you may be more likely to use other prescription medications or illegal drugs. Some combinations can be lethal.
- Engaging in risky behavior. Erratic driving and potentially dangerous personal choices can be made when you’re high. This can result in injury or worse to yourself or others.
- Participating in criminal activity. You may find yourself involved in illegal activities in order to obtain more of the drug. Lying, stealing and forging prescriptions can be commonplace when you are in the throes of Percocet 30 addiction.
Does Percocet Addiction Cause Any Permanent Damage?
Both acetaminophen and oxycodone have some serious long-term effects, some of which, can be permanently damaging. These include:
- Kidney failure
- Hepatotoxicity – Acetaminophen has been cited in cases of acute liver failure, resulting in the need for a liver transplant.
- Severe constipation – This is a very common issue that you could face, and it can require medical intervention. Severe constipation can lead to peritonitis, bowel obstruction and bowel perforation.
- Immune system suppression
- Sexual dysfunction
- Peripheral edema
- Possible overdose, potentially resulting in death
How Is Percocet Addiction Treated?
As noted above, a Percocet addiction can cause serious negative consequences, including permanent damage to your organs. Fortunately, we can treat Percocet addiction.
Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we follow a holistic approach to Percocet addiction treatment. Rather than following a traditional style of rehabilitation, we believe in offering you a flexible and personalized treatment plan which includes one-to-one counseling.
We gather information from a variety of sources, including observation, self-disclosure and talking with your friends and family. This helps us develop an individualized plan to meet your distinct needs.
Our staff comprises recovered alcoholics and drug users, so we can directly relate to the struggles you are facing. We also understand that becoming sober involves living in the real world. Therefore, you have some access to your electronic devices such as your cell phone and laptop so you can continue to live your daily life throughout your recovery program.
We teach you the techniques to manage your everyday life in the best way possible while remaining sober.
After an initial evaluation, you’ll begin a 30-, 60- or 90-day program, which includes taking part in 12 step group recovery meetings. You’ll also receive a personalized schedule of both group and individual counseling sessions as we work on addressing your physical, spiritual, and mental healing.
You’ll receive assistance in finding a sponsor who has been successfully sober for a certain period of time. They will help to mentor you through the 12 steps and show you how to incorporate these into your daily life.
The 12 Keys Model of Treatment includes an array of interventions, including Seeking Safety Track, EMDR, Motivational Interviewing and Biofeedback. Our industry-leading and holistic treatment plans offer real results and help for you when you need it most.
How Do You Safely Detox From Percocet?
If you are stuck in a seemingly never ending cycle of addiction, recovery can seem very far away. However, change is possible and is within reach. Given the right support and treatment, along with making new and lasting lifestyle changes, the root cause of your addiction can be addressed, and then overcome.
It takes a great deal of strength and courage to face your addiction. Detoxing is a process that can be challenging at times. Even if you have tried and failed in the past, you can overcome your addiction to Percocet.
It is very difficult to safely detox from Percocet by yourself, however, and it can also be dangerous. Detoxing should ideally be done under close medical supervision and with a supportive team of specialists who can safely get you through each step in a holistic manner.
As a Percocet abuser, you are far more likely to relapse if you try to detox at home, as your physical dependency is incredibly strong. Withdrawal from Percocet 30 in a residential rehab is therefore likely to be your preferred and most successful option.
Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we employ a 12 step program and recovery model that has been successfully proven to work time and time again. This, in combination with therapies, such as group therapy, EMDR, and behavioral therapy, equips the client with the best possible tools and environment to fight Percocet addiction.
The 12 Keys Model of Treatment is a multi-disciplinary and multi-track addiction treatment method that focuses not only on treating addiction, but also on behavioral and mental health, social problems and trauma.
Our staff are all fully trained, certificated and licensed. Many are recovering users themselves, so they are relatable and empathetic to your situation.
What Are the Stages of Percocet Withdrawal?
If you are physically dependent on the drug, trying to give up the medication will result in Percocet withdrawal pains and symptoms. The severity of these will depend on the duration of your substance abuse as well as the amount of the drug you take each day. It is also dependent on the severity of your dependence as well as your method of ingestion.
Withdrawal symptoms occur due to your brain and body trying to regain balance after being so reliant on the drug for so long. Consequently, the more dependent your brain is on the drug, the longer it will take you to return to your natural state of being and for your Percocet abuse side effects to subside.
The withdrawal process begins within a few hours of the drug leaving your bloodstream. This can begin in as little as eight hours after you have taken your last dose of the drug. There is no exactly definable timeline for everyone, however, as your individual genetic makeup plays a role in how you withdraw.
Your withdrawal symptoms will tend to peak within the first and third days. This period is referred to as “acute withdrawal.”
Emotional symptoms and physical symptoms that last for a few weeks or even months are known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Although it can be very difficult at times, your withdrawal does end, and your brain will, in time, heal.
Week 1 of Percocet Withdrawal
The primary withdrawal phase will last from one to two weeks, and it must be noted that the less severe symptoms you may experience can linger for many months afterwards. Symptoms you may experience during primary withdrawal can include:
- Runny nose
- Muscular aches and pains
- Restless legs
- Stomach cramps
- Difficulty regulating temperature
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Appetite changes
- Lack of concentration
Percocet drug abuse and withdrawal is not usually life threatening, but it can be extremely uncomfortable. If you combine Percocet with other substances, such as alcohol, the duration and severity of your withdrawal can be increased.
Week 2 of Percocet withdrawal
During your second week of withdrawal, your body should be feeling a lot better, although you may still be suffering from some aches and pains. It is normal to feel tired and very drained, and you may need to sleep more. In addition to this, your feelings of depression and anxiety can be particularly heightened at this time.
Week 3-4 of Percocet withdrawal
If you’re a chronic Percocet user, you may still be suffering from protracted withdrawal symptoms due to the effects of Percocet abuse, and insomnia may also be an issue during weeks three to four. Withdrawal from Percocet will, of course, be difficult for you — however, the end result of being clean and sober is more than worth it.
Tips for Coping During Percocet Withdrawal
When you’re suffering from withdrawal symptoms, it can be a difficult and lonely process. However, it is important for you to remember that you are never alone. At 12 Keys Rehab, we offer you 24/7 tailored support at each and every stage of your journey, whatever your signs of withdrawal from Percocet may be.
The National Survey for Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) recently estimated that in 2013 almost 23 million Americans over the age of 12 needed specialized treatment for their substance abuse. Recovery is attainable, and we can help support you in getting there. While you are with us, you will learn many coping strategies that will go on to help you throughout your life.
In addition to support groups, counseling, medication and therapies, we will encourage you to:
- Eat nutritious and balanced meals. Substance abuse depletes the body of vitamins. Good nutrition will help repair some of the damage your body has sustained during the time you were taking Percocet.
- Exercise regularly. This increases the levels of natural “feel-good” endorphins in your body, making you feel amazing.
- Educate yourself. We share our years of knowledge with you in order to help you cope with the withdrawal process.
- Ask for help. We are here 24/7, ready to assist you.
- Be patient. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The withdrawal process does end, and you will feel good about yourself again.
How Long Does It Take to Withdraw From Percocet?
As a general rule, the longer you have been taking Percocet, the more intense the withdrawal process will be. Most symptoms do dissipate after the first week of withdrawal, however. The body can and often does adjust remarkably quickly.
It is important to remember that every person is an individual and withdrawal symptoms of Percocet will vary. In addition, if you have other health conditions, this can slow down the recovery process.
If you’re suffering from post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) during your withdrawal process, the condition is characterized by persistent symptoms of withdrawal from Percocet that last for several weeks or months after quitting the drug. PAWS symptoms are usually psychological and can include depression, anxiety and short-term memory loss.
This condition usually appears in individuals who have a history of prolonged drug abuse and means that the body is taking longer than “usual” to return to its pre-Percocet state.
What Types of Co-occurring Disorders Exist With Percocet?
An addiction to Percocet can accompany a co-occurring disorder. A co-occurring disorder is the term used to describe an individual who struggles with a mental or behavioral health illness in tandem with a substance addiction. If you experience a dual diagnosis, you will be facing a wide and confusing range of psychosocial issues. You may also be experiencing more than two interacting illnesses at the same time.
When you’re living with a mental health issue, life can be very difficult. If you are also suffering from an addiction, whether to Percocet or another drug, it can be unbearable. You could be running a very real risk of being trapped in a vicious cycle to which you cannot find an end.
Often people ask which issue began first, but this is different for every individual. You may find you already had underlying mental health issues before beginning your battle with Percocet addiction symptoms. Conversely, you may realize that your mental health has deteriorated as a result of your abuse.
12 Keys Rehab for Co-occurring Disorders Exist With Percocet
Regardless of how it began, it is imperative to understand the relationship between your mental health issues and your Percocet addiction. Working holistically, you can gain a greater understanding of how each condition impacts the other. This is something that is very important to us at 12 Keys. Through understanding your entire physical, emotional, and mental makeup, a tailored and successful program can then be delivered.
For example, if you are very depressed, you may abuse Percocet to help you deal with your emotional pain. Through a holistic and tailored treatment approach that focuses both on the depression and the addiction, you can heal fully. If your co-occurring disorders are not both treated, the chances of you relapsing will, of course, be much greater than if they are addressed.
The specific causes of chemical dependency and psychiatric illness are not entirely understood. However, it is believed that your genetics, environmental factors, brain chemistry and family history all play an important role in their development. Here are some sobering statistics about mental illness:
- 9.2 million U.S. adults are affected by co-occurring disorders.
- 56.1 percent of bipolar individuals abuse substances.
- 27.2 percent of people with unipolar depression (depression without manic episodes) abuse substances.
- 32 percent of people with mood disorders other than bipolar disorder abuse substances.
Here at 12 Keys Rehab, we:
- Acknowledge the importance of addressing your addiction and mental health issues simultaneously.
- Help you understand how these issues affect one another.
- Provide you with a variety of treatment approaches to help you heal holistically and to provide you will the tools to combat the symptoms of Percocet withdrawal.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, co-occurring disorders can have a devastating impact on both your life and the lives of your family and friends. This is due to a variety of common issues associated with co-occurring disorders, such as:
- Social and family problems
- School or employment problems
- High-risk behavior
- Legal problems and incarceration
- Multiple substance abuse relapses
- Multiple instances of recurrence of psychiatric issues
- Increased need for acute health care services
- Increased emergency room admissions
How Can I Help My Loved One Recover From a Percocet Addiction?
It can be frightening and confusing when you discover that a loved one is showing symptoms of Percocet addiction. You may experience conflicting feelings of concern one minute and of anger the next. Your loved one’s revelation may be news to you, or you may already have spotted that they have been showing some of the signs of Percocet abuse.
It’s important throughout this time to keep in mind that you’re not alone and that we are here to help you as much as your loved one. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of opioid pain relievers prescribed in the U.S. has grown significantly within the last 25 years. In 1991 there were around 76 million opioid pain relievers prescribed. This rose to almost 207 million in 2013. In fact, the U.S. accounts for 81 percent of the world’s oxycodone use.
There are millions of families going through exactly what you are experiencing right now, and there is hope for the future. Taking the first step and finding support and information for both yourself and for your loved one who is showing signs of addiction to Percocet will be the beginning of a long journey. We can hold your hand and help you through it.
When it comes to discussing treatment for Percocet dependency with your loved one, it is important to approach the subject with care. Percocet addiction can make you moody and withdrawn. If possible, you should try to speak to them when they are not under the influence.
It is also possible that you will be met with a wall of resistance when you speak with your loved one. It is important that you don’t use accusatory language or attribute blame when broaching this delicate subject with them. Together, you can work toward getting Percocet addiction help.
It may be that your loved one may not even realize the extent of their problem, or even that they have a problem at all. As Percocet is legal for use when prescribed by a doctor, many people don’t realize the risks of abusing it. This is why it is important to be compassionate when speaking with your loved one.
When discussing symptoms of Percocet abuse and their potential treatment with your loved one, don’t attribute blame to them — even if you are feeling that way. Begin your statements with “I.” For example, “I feel sad when you’re taking Percocet as I feel I can’t reach you.” If you begin in an accusatory manner, this is all your loved one will remember, and they could further isolated themselves.
Even though you are feeling in emotional turmoil, it is important to remember that your loved one needs all the support and help you can muster in order to work toward their new, drug-free life. Opioid painkillers are very addictive and habit-forming. It will take both yours and your loved one’s continued support, determination and focus to finally break the cycle of addiction for good.
How to Stay Strong When Your Loved One Is Addicted to Percocet
When you realize your loved one is suffering from an addiction, it can be easy to spend all your time and emotional energy on worrying about them and their future. You need to remember to look after yourself, too, as they will come to rely on you far more than ever over the weeks and months ahead. There are a few things you can do to ensure you stay strong, especially when they are participating in programs at 12 Keys Rehab:
- Deal with reality. It can be difficult, but you need to face the issue head on. Although things don't magically get better, there is a lot you and your loved one can do together to help them move forward. Becoming informed and working to understand addiction is a very positive step, as is accepting your loved one for who they are, not what you want them to be or what they were in the past. Through acceptance, you can help them through the first difficult stages of their recovery.
- Stay healthy yourself. Remember to focus on you and what you are going through as well as on the welfare of your loved one. When you need to take time out, take it. You will feel fitter and stronger as a consequence. Set appropriate boundaries and learn to stick to them. Be assertive and learn when to say no — and mean it.
Remember that you cannot “fix” someone else. This is something a Percocet abuser has to do for themselves. Whether you are suffering from an addiction or are concerned for the welfare of someone who is addicted, the sooner you seek help, the better. We’re here for you whenever you’re ready to take the next step. Let 12 Keys Rehab help you or your loved one with a Percocet addiction.
Contact 12 Keys Rehab today and learn about our holistic rehab approach, dual diagnosis therapies, low client-to-staff ratio and our personalized, practical approach to long-lasting sobriety.
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