Percocet addiction is one of the many contributors to the opioid epidemic in the United States. Percocet is one of the most commonly prescribed opioids for pain management and also one of the most abused. Despite its popular usage for post-surgery pain and to manage some health conditions, protocols to prevent Percocet addiction continue to be lacking. As a result, many children and adults take this medication without understanding the full scope of danger that comes with Percocet misuse.
Below, you can learn about the signs of Percocet addiction and how professional treatment can help you recover from Percocet dependence.
How Prescription Opioid Addiction Starts
The opioid epidemic isn’t just the result of fentanyl and heroin usage. Prescription opioids, including Percocet, are also responsible for the increase in people with an opioid addiction. Similarly to other types of opioids, Percocet addiction doesn’t happen overnight. However, it doesn’t take long to become dependent on it once you have gotten used to the effects.
One of the reasons Percocet is so dangerous is because many individuals who take it don’t understand it can be dangerous. It’s made up of two well-known pain medications: oxycodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in Tylenol used to reduce fevers and mild pain. On the other hand, oxycodone relieves more intense pain and is classified as an analgesic opioid medication. This means that it’s habit-forming and can lead to addiction if misused.
A prescription for Percocet may sound harmless because it’s a commonly prescribed pain killer and because of its association with Tylenol. However, the inclusion of oxycodone is what makes this particular medication potentially dangerous. Many individuals who develop Percocet addiction use it for recovery purposes but find themselves seeking out the effects of the medication after it’s medically necessary to continue using it.
How Common Is Percocet Addiction?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established an opioid prescribing guideline to help clinicians and patients receive informed care when opioids are required to manage chronic or severe pain. However, many primary care providers have reported insufficient training in prescribing opioids, which correlates to a reported 9.3 million people, including children, who misused prescription opioids in 2020.
And this concerning trend shows no signs of stopping. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription opioid-related deaths have increased since 2020. The limited knowledge given to patients combined with the presence of oxycodone in the medication is a major contributor to Percocet addiction and overdose deaths associated with prescription opioids.
In addition to the common abuse of prescribed opioids in the United States, women are more likely to develop issues like Percocet addiction as a result of pain, trauma, and visiting the hospital more frequently than men. This factor isn’t necessarily taken into consideration when patients receive their prescriptions, potentially putting them at risk.
Causes and Risk Factors
Knowing the statistics and identifying risk factors of Percocet addiction is essential for getting help for yourself or any family members who are struggling. Some of the causes and risk factors include:
- Personal history of mental illness and/or substance abuse
- Family history of mental illness and/or substance abuse
- Being prescribed or having access to Percocet
- Taking more than the recommended dosage or taking it longer than necessary
Although the best way to prevent a Percocet addiction is to use alternative treatment methods, pain management is a complex issue that includes a variety of factors. In many cases, there are no better alternatives from what has been considered. Additionally, this preventative measure doesn’t help someone already seeking addiction treatment.
Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
When your Percocet addiction started, you may not have been aware of the dangers involved in taking Percocet long-term. But if you’re taking any kind of opioid painkiller, it’s important to know the signs of opioid addiction. Percocet addiction is characterized by a variety of symptoms that can be experienced when addicted to other substances.
These signs and symptoms can indicate that someone needs professional help, even if they don’t realize it. Symptoms of Percocet addiction include:
Physical Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
- Sleep problems
- Balance issues
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Slowed heart rate
- Shallow breathing
- Weight loss
- Withdrawal symptoms
Behavioral Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
- Trying to steal Percocet
- Borrowing or stealing money to buy Percocet
- Taking higher doses than prescribed
- Taking Percocet longer than prescribed
- Inability to control usage
Mental Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
- Trouble making decisions
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Anger and irritability
Effects of Percocet Addiction
In addition to the symptoms that come with having a Percocet addiction, there are a variety of ways the effects of Percocet addiction can alter other aspects of your life. If you feel like your use of Percocet is impacting your mental health, relationships, and ability to maintain your responsibilities, it’s time to get help. Not only can treatment help you work past your addiction, but it can also give you the tools necessary to rebuild your life through recovery.
Some of the effects of Percocet addiction include:
- Suicidal ideation
- Strained relationships
- Financial problems
- Mental health problems
- Kidney and liver damage
- Respiratory problems
Treatment Methods for Percocet Addiction
Since Percocet is so addictive, you can become physically and psychologically dependent on it within a few days. This also leads to heightened tolerance levels that can increase your risk of experiencing withdrawal and overdose symptoms.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous, which is why undergoing a medically supervised drug detox is strongly recommended when starting recovery for Percocet addiction. Although symptoms vary from person to person, the most common Percocet withdrawal symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Dilated pupils
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal cramping
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Sleep disturbances
- Twitches and tremors
The effects of Percocet withdrawal can be painful and dangerous when detoxing. For this reason, undergoing the process with supervision from medical and mental health professionals can help you navigate the process safely. At The Willough at Naples, you receive 24/7 monitoring that puts your mental and physical well-being at the forefront of your recovery.
After completing detox, the next step focuses on the mental and emotional phase of addiction recovery. The long-term usage of Percocet can lead to the development of or worsen pre-existing mental health disorder symptoms. As a result, these symptoms make it more difficult to end the addiction and recover. Fortunately, a comprehensive dual diagnosis program can address the symptoms of your co-occurring disorders to prevent relapse and help you manage symptoms of both disorders in the future.
Florida Opioid Addiction Treatment
If you’re struggling to fight against Percocet addiction and need a helping hand, The Willough at Naples is here to guide you. Our behavioral health center treats those seeking addiction and mental health services. Located in Naples, Florida, we can provide you with evidence-based addiction treatment in a safe and supportive environment.
Addiction recovery is considered a lifelong journey but it’s possible with the right help. Call us today at 800-722-0100 or submit a contact form online. We’re here to help you safely start your recovery from Percocet addiction.