Percocet is a prescription drug used to treat short term pain and is prescribed short-term to treat moderate to severe pain. Although it is intended to be used for a short period of time, like all narcotics it carries with it a high risk for abuse.
Percocet is the brand name used to refer to Endocet, the drug’s generic name, which is the combination of two drugs: oxycodone and paracetamol. Oxycodone is an opioid narcotic which causes a sensation of euphoria, relaxation, and a calming un-anxious feeling. It also has a comes with a strong hazard for addiction and dependency. Paracetamol is also known as acetaminophen and functions to amplify the already strong effects of oxycodone.
Together these drugs make Percocet, the prescription pain-killer that has spearheaded the skyrocketing opioid addiction rates in the United States over the last three decades. First approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1976, Percocet is one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States. Although it is classified as a Schedule II Narcotic, which means it is strictly regulated due to the addictive nature of the drug, Percocet quickly grew to be one of the most quickly prescribed pills in the United States. Many people, thinking they were safe because they came from a doctor, became addicted to Percocet. Over time the rate of usage sharply increased, as did the rates of overdose and deaths from overdose.
By 2010 it had been shown in a study conducted by Stanford University that opioids such as Percocet and Vicodin accounted for as much as 68 percent of ER overdose patients. To combat the rising tide of Percocet addiction, the FDA agreed to limit the number of prescriptions doctors could write for these drugs. In spite of these measures the United States continues to battle a ferocious opioid epidemic. A study conducted in 2014 showed reported that close to 6.5 million Americans had used prescription drugs like Percocet and Vicodin for non-medical reasons—either for recreation or to self-medicate their chronic opioid addiction.
The most common way to take Percocet is to ingest it orally in pill form. Sometimes users will crush the pill up and snort it to quicken the effects and make them more intense. It should be noted that snorting Percocet is one of the main causes of overdose: when swallowed the drug is made for a slow release over a long period of time. Snorting it provides a sometimes lethal dose all at once.
Those most at risk for Percocet addiction are people who suffer a chronic pain and take the drug to mitigate their pain and those who seek the drug on the black market for recreational use. For both cases the effects of the drug are the same.
Initial Effects of Percocet Use:
- Unabashed Joy
- Sense of calm and well-being
- Pain relief
While the above symptoms might at first glance seem desirable, they are actually fleeting and built on a broken foundation. Once the initial kick of the drug wears off the pain and unpleasant aspects of life return and one must continually take increasingly larger doses of the drug in order to achieve the same effect. Following this pattern of increasing re-use, overdose from the drug is likely to occur. Percocet in particular has an elevated risk of overdose because of the acetaminophen found in the drug. Acetaminophen is a drug that is easy to overdose on. Overdose symptoms of Percocet follow after taking a dose beyond one’s tolerance levels.
Symptoms of a Percocet overdose include:
- Clammy skin
- Lower back pain
- Seizures and Convulsions
- Shallow and difficulty breathing
- And in many cases even death
Long term use even without an overdose is dangerous and can lead to liver, heart, and brain damage. Those who misuse Percocet are setting themselves but for physical dependency, however the problems surrounding Percocet addiction are not limited to only physical ailments. These are things to look out for when trying to spot Percocet addiction.
Addiction to this drug also plagues one’s relationships and personal life. People with chronic addiction to opioids are much more likely to engage in risky and criminal behavior. They are at risk for losing their job for poor performance or absenteeism. If the user has a prescription they will sometimes go to several different doctors for a refill after their prescription has run out gambling that one of the doctors will write them a script for the drug.
Their personal relationships with non-users suffer and they instead form self-destructive bonds with other users. They will often commit petty crimes to fuel their addiction.
People high on Percocet are usually very sleepy and sometimes will “nod-off” during their day-to-day activities. They are prone to confusion and agitation.
If their prescription runs out (or if they had no prescription to begin with) and they continue to crave Percocet they will often turn to an illegal and dangerous street market which can end up with an arrest.
Common street names for Percocet include:
- Blue dynamite
- Hill Billy Heroin
Fighting Percocet addiction requires the patient to detox under guided supervision. Detoxing alone is not only dangerous because of the shock of withdrawal to the body, it is also rarely effective with many of the users returning to their habit.
At Bay Area Recovery Center our mission to help people free themselves from the prison of addiction. Every day we guide and teach people how to overcome their addiction to prescription drugs and get them back to living life to the fullest. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction call us at (713) 705-3457 and we will get you into recovery and back into life.
Bay Area Recovery Center has successfully treated individuals dependent on drugs and alcohol for over 20 years. People need to know treatment does work and there is life after addiction. Let us use our experience and expertise to develop a detox and treatment plan that is personalized to your situation. The illness of addiction is not something you or your family should have to go through alone. We can help. Call us now (713) 705-3457 or (281) 924-9846.
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