Substance use disorder impacts people of all backgrounds across the country. Around 53 million individuals 12 and above used illicit drugs or misused prescription medications within 2020. With millions of people using substances, the potential for developing an addiction increases. Quality treatment centers are essential for numerous types of drugs, including Percocet®.
Individuals struggling with addiction or who find themselves dependent on a drug like Percocet® should find a rehabilitation center to help halt their use of the substance. Learn more about Percocet®, how it’s misused and where you can find effective treatment.
Percocet® contains a combination of the opioid oxycodone and the pain reliever acetaminophen. Doctors prescribe it as a short-term treatment to relieve moderate to severe pain that doesn’t respond to other pain treatments. However, this medicine can cause addiction in both misuse and prescribed use.
Acetaminophen helps reduce fevers and relieve pain. This over-the-counter pain medication is the active ingredient in Tylenol. While this medication does not have habit-forming properties, it can still produce some negative health effects in high doses. Liver damage is one of the unwanted health effects of large amounts of acetaminophen.
Oxycodone is the opioid in Percocet® that helps relieve more intense pain than traditional pain relievers. This substance is a part of the narcotic analgesics group of medicines. This opioid’s characteristics are what make Percocet® a potentially addictive substance. The effects of oxycodone are strengthened with the addition of acetaminophen, creating a useful pain reliever that’s also potentially harmful to a person with high risks of substance use disorder.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Percocet® as a Schedule II drug — meaning it has a high potential for misuse and severe addiction, but it still has some accepted medical uses. Percocet® is one of the brand-name medications of oxycodone and acetaminophen and is only available in tablet form. Four types of Percocet® are available for patients with varying levels of oxycodone concentration. The Percocet® tablets have several different appearances, depending on the dose:
These descriptions of Percocet® are only relevant to the Percocet® brand medication. If an individual has a prescription for the generic version of Percocet®, the pills may have a different appearance.
The history of Percocet® also entails the main substance that makes Percocet® an intense pain reliever — oxycodone. Researchers in Germany were the first individuals to create oxycodone in 1916. Oxycodone has been used for decades to treat severe pain from surgery or cancer treatment, despite its addictive properties.
Percocet® was created in the 1970s as an alternative to Percodan — a prescription pain reliever that combined oxycodone and aspirin. Percodan had an often unwanted blood-clotting side effect because of the aspirin. Percocet® was introduced as a possible alternative to highly addictive medications doctors used during World War I, like morphine or heroin. The goal was to create a strong enough medication to reduce pain while still lacking addictive properties. Unfortunately, the medicinal community found oxycodone to be just as addictive.
In the late 20th century, Percocet® was the pain reliever of choice among those who experienced chronic pain due to hard labor, such as coal mining. Sadly, many of these working-class individuals were poorly educated about the drug’s addictive side effects. Many blame Percocet® as the forerunner of the opioid epidemic our nation faces today, a crisis that kills nearly 128 people every day.
The DEA took this information and other studies showing the addictive properties of Percocet® and classified it as a Schedule II drug. This classification ensures there are regulations on prescriptions and medical professionals understand the severity of this opioid substance.
Percocet®is an opioid, which means it is derived from the same source as drugs like morphine and heroin. Opioids act on receptors in the brain to block out pain and release neurotransmitters associated with feelings of happiness and euphoria.
Opioids are one of the strongest pain relief medicines. They attach to opioid receptors in the brain, gastrointestinal tract and spinal cord to limit the pain messages that travel to the brain. While opioids like Percocet® help manage pain, they don’t cure the pain’s underlying cause. Additional treatment is necessary to eliminate pain at the cause instead of relieving the symptom.
Opioids must be potent to relieve high amounts of pain from severe medical issues. Many people misuse Percocet® because of the intense euphoric sensation the substance produces. This sensation impacts the body’s reward system because of the overwhelming positive feeling. Once the feeling wears off, the patient may crave the comfortable feeling, especially if they’re still in great pain. They may also crave the substance to limit withdrawal symptoms.
The idea that Percocet® is a safe-to-use prescription medication can instill a false sense of security around the substance. It’s essential for individuals to work closely with a doctor when taking prescription Percocet® or any prescription opioid to monitor dependence symptoms carefully. The body will begin physically and mentally craving the substance because of the euphoric feeling and physical dependence.
Lower doses of Percocet® may cause you to feel tired, while higher doses can produce intense symptoms like slow heart rate or breathing. People who want to ensure that Percocet® provides the pain relief they need and doesn’t produce negative impacts on their body should follow the prescription and doctor’s instructions carefully.
Percocet® can be both physically and emotionally addictive. If it’s taken extensively for long periods of time, the brain and body can grow dependent on it — meaning that if you try to quit, you may experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Emotionally, you may find it difficult to feel pleasure in everyday activities without the drug. Whether knowingly misused or not, a Percocet® addiction can begin to control your life. Once addicted, you may exceed the recommended dosage or seek out illegal ways to obtain more of the drug.
Like all opioids, Percocet’s high potential for misuse makes it imperative to take the drug exactly as prescribed. In most cases, Percocet® is recommended for short-term relief of acute pain, not chronic conditions. Doctors sometimes recommend it for a brief period of time after surgery or due to an injury.
Percocet® is typically not prescribed for long-term pain relief because of the substance’s addictive properties. Percocet® changes the way the brain reacts to pain, which helps people feel more relaxed while experiencing moderate or strong pain levels.
The first step individuals should take before using their prescription Percocet® is reviewing the medication guide from the pharmacist and asking the pharmacist or doctor plenty of questions regarding side effects and dose. Percocet® is an oral medication that comes as ingestible tablets. Patients can take Percocet® with or without consuming food. If people experience nausea after taking Percocet®, they can consult with their doctor about reducing nausea.
A Percocet®high can feel as powerful and euphoric as the effects of heroin. As a result, people often use the drug in ways that it was not intended. This usage can quickly lead to chemical dependency and addiction.
People will access Percocet® for illicit use by taking higher doses of their prescription or purchasing Percocet® illegally, usually from someone selling their prescription on the streets. The initial stages of Percocet® misuse can gradually lead to dependence or addiction if a person continues to take Percocet® regularly.
Percocet® is a commonly misused drug in the United States. Since doctors can prescribe Percocet®, some may believe using this substance is better than illicit opioids like heroin. Illicit uses of Percocet® are still harmful and potentially life-threatening when consumed in large amounts.
After taking Percocet® in its pill form for a while, the body becomes tolerant. So, some people increase their Percocet® dosage to get high, chew on the pill to increase absorption, or they may grind the pill into a fine powder that they can snort or inject. These methods speed up the Percocet® high, allowing it to enter the central nervous system more quickly. However, these modes also increase the risk of overdose.
While many people see snorting the drug as less risky, it can damage the sinuses, injure the blood vessels or cause an infection.
When individuals take higher doses of Percocet® to feel the effects, it can quickly lead to physical or psychological dependence. A Percocet® dependence is not the same as an addiction, but dependence can potentially lead to substance use disorder and require more treatment to recover.
Another method of misusing Percocet® is taking the pill with alcohol. However, by mixing Percocet® and alcohol, the sedative nature of both substances is heightened. This combination can lead a user to pass out, injuring themself, or vomit while unconscious, which could lead to death by asphyxiation.
Percocet® is a controlled substance in the United States, making it challenging to obtain prescription refills legally. People can obtain Percocet® in numerous illicit ways, including:
Since Percocet® and other opioids were approved for use in the United States, researchers from various organizations collected data on substance use and its impact on Americans. Opioid use has been especially harmful and often leads to substance use disorder, dependence or death. The rate of misuse of opioids and other substances like Percocet® is concerning to medical professionals.
These statistics on opioid use show how misuse can lead to negative health or lifestyle effects:
Another major concern surrounding Percocet® and other opioid use is the opioid epidemic. Other useful statics regarding the opioid epidemic in the United States from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services include:
Treatments for any opioid addiction will look different for every person. Treating a Percocet® addiction first requires finding the best treatment facility to help you or your loved one step closer to recovery. Treatment centers like Gateway Foundation will provide all of the levels of care necessary for nearly every person to start living a life without Percocet®.
The levels of care at Gateway Foundation include:
Medication-assisted treatment is the best way to treat a Percocet® addiction initially. The withdrawal symptoms for any type of opioid are intense, and this first treatment can help patients become sober safely and continue on other levels of care to reach recovery.
Medical professionals may prescribe certain medications during medication-assisted detox treatment to help reduce the withdrawal symptoms. Opioid withdrawal can be intense, so it’s better to go through a safe and comfortable withdrawal process to continue progressing through the recovery process.
Some of these medications for Percocet® detoxification include:
Opioid addiction impacts every aspect of life. Percocet® drug addiction treatment centers aim to address all these elements:
Opioid addiction treatment centers provide medical services that help patients manage the physical symptoms of addiction. They offer treatment that addresses withdrawal, cravings and related medical issues.
Addiction to Percocet® involves behavioral and emotional changes that cause many of its symptoms. Therapy and peer support help patients learn new coping mechanisms and recovery skills.
Some Percocet® drug addiction rehabilitation centers partner with community resources. These services support patients in getting everyday necessities such as jobs, housing and food.
Gateway Foundation offers plenty of clinical services and treatment programs that can improve a person’s treatment plan. Some of the treatment programs you can join while receiving care at Gateway Foundation include:
Everyone’s experience with opioid addiction rehab depends on their needs and the provider they visit.
Finding the right Percocet® addiction treatment center is simple when patients know what factors to look for during their search. The perfect treatment center will meet the patient’s needs and offer plenty of treatment options to help various patients get through their recovery journey.
First, decide how your preferred rehabilitation center will look. This idea can stem from your goals for Percocet® treatment and any therapy or counseling programs you want to include in your treatment plan. It’s also best to consult with your primary care physician before choosing a treatment center so you can have their input on locations that will provide the best services for your substance use disorder.
The factors people should consider for their Percocet® treatment center include:
At Gateway, we take a personalized approach to care. Our medication-assisted treatment services for opioids, withdrawal management support services and prescription drug addiction care target your needs. These approaches set Gateway apart from other addiction clinics:
Our addiction medical services save lives every day. When you become a Gateway patient, you have a partner in recovery for life.
When you become a Gateway patient, you have a partner in recovery for life.
When you ask for help with your recovery from Percocet® addiction, you can start a new life without opiates. Your care team will support you in meeting goals, including:
As you go through Percocet® addiction treatment, you can set recovery benchmarks and receive the resources you need to meet them.
Gateway Foundation is a treatment facility in Illinois that provides resources and treatment plans to help patients succeed with Percocet® addiction recovery. Gateway has 16 locations throughout Illinois that welcome patients with Percocet® and other substance use problems. We provide high-quality care tailored to each person, so their recovery focuses on their needs.
Want to learn more about how Gateway Foundation can help you or a loved one? Contact us today to check out our services and programs that help people recover from substance use disorder.
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