Percocet is a drug prescribed for pain management. A combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (aka the ingredient in Tylenol), it is classified as a Schedule 2 narcotic by the FDA due to its high potential for addiction. In fact, it can become addictive within a week of the first use. Its use is often curtailed due to the acetaminophen content of the pills. Percocet addiction will be limited by the addict’s own liver due to acetaminophen’s toxic effects of the liver at high doses.
In addition to its addictive properties, those using Percocet should be wary of operating heavy machinery including cars during their period of use. Those with allergies to acetaminophen should avoid Percocet, as should those with allergies to opiate medications. Breathing problems have been reported with this medication, so those with COPD or other respiratory difficulties should avoid this drug. More common side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Blurry vision
- Dry mouth
Who Uses Percocet?
Patients in need of pain management use Percocet. It is recommended for those in need of moderate to severe pain relief. Over the years, it has been prescribed for patients to use after an oral surgery and for those recovering from more severe trauma, such as burn victims. Percocet is only legally available by prescription from a licensed health care professional, but the prescription drug epidemic tells us that many people who initially took a drug per a doctor’s recommendation, soon find themselves addicted, and resort to various tactics to find the drug, even after their prescription runs out. These addicts will eventually need detox and subsequent recovery to remain free from the drug.
Detoxifying from a Percocet addiction can be a long and drawn out process, depending on the severity of the addict’s usage. Though the detox process is not fatal, as in alcohol detox, it can be very unpleasant and it is recommended to seek professional help when undergoing the detox process. The acute detox period can include episodes of vomiting, cold sweats, shakes, seizures, and possible coma.
Though many addicts have suffered the painful detox process at home, this method can be very risky, due to the possibility of coma as well as other effects, including depression and increased heart rate. Even if one chooses to detox at home, a friend or family member should be made aware of this decision so that they can check in on the process to make sure the addict is safe.
Where to Detox
There are many detox clinics that will assist the Percocet addict in the time of detox and withdrawal. With a team of trained professionals to guide the patient through the process, everyone involved can be assured of a safe and well-managed detox process.
After the initial detox period has been completed, the addict can then face a lengthy period where it may be difficult to complete sentences and gather thoughts. There is also a possibility of relapse.
Some professionals might recommend other methods, such as a step-down detox in which the body is trained to live without the addictive opiate. Here, the patient works with a doctor to lower dosage over time. This is a ″weaning″ method and requires that there be open communication between the doctor and patient. So, if a Percocet abuser begins to have cravings for a higher dose, this needs to be discussed immediately with the doctor
Recovery from Percocet addiction is often a lifetime process. Immediately following a detoxification, the patient may need to undergo a period of education and counseling about his drug problem. Issues such as relapse and long-term treatment should be discussed. The patient should, in fact, be fully evaluated so that his or her status regarding addition can be assessed.
If it is determined the patient is fully addicted, then group therapy is often the preferred method of recovery. This therapy might be conducted in a clinical, rehabilitation setting or in the community via organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. The patient should try all possible avenues to determine which will be the most effective for long-term recovery. Very often, addicts find that the less comfortable route yields the greater results and the best prognosis for long-term health and happiness.
If you or someone you love is experiencing Percocet addiction, you are not alone. There is recovery available. Call now for a confidential assessment by an intake specialist.