Percocet is a painkiller that combines oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is an opioid painkiller that has a strong potential for abuse. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published in 2013, estimated that some 6.5 million individuals over the age of 12 in this country used prescription drugs in a non-medical way, and this includes Percocet. Luckily, for those who have an abuse problem, help is out there.
How to Speak to Someone with a Percocet Addiction
It is normal to feel quite intimidated by the thought of having to confront someone about a possible Percocet addiction. Those who abuse the drug are often moody and withdrawn. This is why it is very important to be cautious in your approach. If possible, speak to them when they aren’t on the drug as well.
Percocet can be legally obtained on prescription, which is why many people are addicted without even realizing it. As a result, they often don’t recognize that there is a problem. When confronting someone, therefore, you should do it in a way that is non-accusing, focusing instead on how you feel when that person abuses Percocet. You can also choose to take part in Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), where you will learn more about how to conduct successful interventions and how to support yourself and your loved ones as well. In fact, Meyers, Smith, & Lash stated in 2014 that 70% of people will enroll in treatment if they used CRAFT.
People who abuse Percocet need support. They need to know that people care about them and don’t judge them, even if they were to relapse. It is likely that they also suffer from significant pain, which is what they were prescribed the drug for in the first place. With your support, they will be able to remain focused and determined in their efforts to recover.
Treatment for Percocet Addiction
Percocet treatment can be offered in both inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities. Both have their own pros and cons and you must make sure that the right one is chosen. Outpatient facilities tend to be more flexible, because people reside in their own homes and may even be able to continue to work. However, it can be difficult to resist temptation when remaining in the environment where the patient had abused the substance in the first place. During outpatient treatment, you will have a schedule to show when you have to see your counselor, which is generally a number of times per week. You can expect to have to go through random drugs tests as well, to make sure you are sticking to the program. In order for this type of treatment to be successful, you have to be really dedicated. If you have a strong support system, it can be a very good treatment option.
If you go to an inpatient facility, however, you will actually stay there for the duration of your treatment. This means that you are outside of your home environment, and you can truly immerse yourself in intensive treatment, being away from temptation as well. While there, you will take part in individual and group therapy, as well as educational lectures to teach you about different substances, addiction, and how to recover.
In either inpatient or outpatient treatment, you may be prescribed medication to supplement the behavioral therapy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a number of drugs for the treatment of opioid addictions, including:
- Naltrexone, which you would take daily. It stops Percocet from activating the opioid receptors in the brain. This means that you will no longer experience the high or rewards by taking the drug.
- Vivitrol, which is an intravenous form of naltrexone that releases very slowly. It is injected once per month and works well for those who struggle to stick to daily tablets.
- Methadone, which is a synthetic opioid that helps to lower cravings and withdrawal symptoms, without making people feel the extreme lows and highs they normally experience when using their chosen drug.
- Buprenorphine, which mimics opioids but does not offer the same highs while controlling withdrawal symptoms.
- Suboxone, which is a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. When injected, this drug instantly blocks the brain’s opioid receptors, which means withdrawal symptoms also start straight away.
Naturally, there is more to treatment than receiving medication. In fact, some people in rehab do not use medication at all. Rather, the most important element is behavioral therapy, where you will learn to understand your personal Percocet habits, and why you have ended up in that situation. You will develop strategies to help you cope with triggers and temptations, which is vital for when you return to normal daily life. Additionally, you will learn about the fact that recovery is an ongoing process.
How Addictive Is Percocet?
Percocet is a valuable prescription medication that is used in a range of patients experiencing pain. The drug changes the way your nervous system and brain respond to pain. The U.S. National Library of Medicine has stated that, if used in high doses and for a long time, it can become addictive. People who use Percocet according to their prescription may still develop a physiological dependency, therefore.
How Do I Know If I Am Addicted?
People who abuse Percocet, willingly or not, notice that every element of their life is affected by it. These include:
- Missing some time at work, particularly if they don’t take a dose of Percocet. This is because their body is no longer able to function normally without it.
- Problematic personal relationships, including marriage, because their life starts to revolve around the drug. They may, for instance, cease to attend family functions or have new friendships with other users.
- Financial problems due to missing work and spending money on Percocet
- Mood swings
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they are no longer able to use the drug.
The first clue to tell you that you have a Percocet problem is that you don’t feel well if you don’t take it. Withdrawal from Percocet is similar to having the flu. Symptoms include cold chills, sweating, and body aches. You may also find that all you think about is the drug, wondering when you will take your next dose, or find more if you are running out. If you crave it, feel you need it to function, take it daily, or take more than you are prescribed, it is likely that you need help.