Understanding the Addictive Nature of Percocet

Percocet is a prescription painkiller composed of Oxycodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, is one of the most commonly used analgesics and antipyretic agents that functions to reduce fever and relieve minor to moderate pain such as headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, colds and sore throats, etc. With or without acetaminophen, Percocet addiction can occur with regular use.

The oxycodone in Percocet is a strong opioid that, when used properly, can help relieve mild to severe pain in the body. It functions by working in the brain, changing how a body feels and responds to pain.

However, with how oxycodone in Percocet works in the brain, it can cause physical dependence and cause individuals to develop a Percocet addiction.

Keep reading to learn ways to overcome Percocet addiction through treatment, and the effective programs found at at Pathfinders Recovery Centers!

What Causes Percocet Addiction

Percocet Addiction

Percocet is a strong painkiller that is frequently prescribed for excruciating, transient pain, especially following surgery or trauma. Patients with extreme chronic pain may also benefit from this drug. The oxycodone in Percocet targets the mind and affects the reward system in the brain.

Our rewards system is there to provide us with good and positive feelings from doing rewarding things, such as engaging in healthy behaviors like eating, exercising, and other activities that make us feel good and joyful.

To keep you engaged in these activities and continue to feel good, your brain releases a small quantity of the neurotransmitter dopamine and natural opioids.

How Percocet Affects the Brain

The neurotransmitter dopamine and natural opioids that your reward system releases make you feel good and these substances allow you to enjoy the feeling and give you the desire to repeat the experience.

When you take Percocet, your brain is getting a considerably higher than usual amount of the natural opioids it utilizes to manage itself. This causes a significant dopamine release as well as strong emotions of pleasure and happiness. Since you’re getting a higher amount of opioids and dopamine, your brain generates cravings to use the drug once more, which can be difficult to resist.

When you use Percocet frequently, your receptors get used to the increased doses of opioids and will lose their sensitivity. Long-term Percocet use causes the body to stop producing dopamine and natural opioids. It can restart eventually, but it takes time for it to get back into balance. As a result, you start to depend on Percocet just to have natural opioids and dopamine and feel normal.

How Does a Percocet Addiction Start?

Percocet Addiction

When used as prescribed by a doctor, Percocet can help people manage moderate to severe pain while still allowing them to be healthy and function normally. However, if Percocet is used inappropriately, it can lead to mental illness, Percocet addiction, and substance abuse issues that can be extremely difficult to treat without getting help from a professional.

In the worst situations, abusing Percocet can result in a Percocet overdose, which can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 44 people died each day in 2020 from overdoses involving prescription opioids. In the same year, overdoses involving prescription opioids resulted in more than 16,000 deaths. Sadly, given the prevalence of and access to opioid medications, there is a greater likelihood that the numbers are rising today.

Although Percocet is a prescribed medication, there are other ways the people who abuse Percocet can get the medicine. Percocet is frequently diverted, which means it is sold to and given to individuals who do not have a valid prescription or a medical need for the drugs. People may fabricate symptoms to obtain a prescription and schedule several doctor visits to obtain additional medication.

Many people are so dependent on Percocet that they keep taking the medication even when it is no longer necessary, use more of the medication than is advised, or only use Percocet recreationally. All of these are regarded as drug abuse and Percocet addiction.

Percocet Addiction: Causes and Risk Factors

Every person who struggles with Percocet addiction and abuse has their own story. Several factors can affect a person’s risk of misusing or developing dependence on Percocet. Here are some of the common factors that may influence a person’s tendency for Percocet abuse or addiction.

Genetic Risk Factors for Opioid Misuse

Impulsivity and the desire for novelty are two heritable traits that can increase the risk of an opioid use disorder, which includes a Percocet addiction. You may be more likely to experience similar problems if a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, has struggled with substance abuse. Researchers have identified specific genes that, in some people, but not in others, can increase the likelihood of substance abuse, including the misuse of Percocet.

Environmental Factors in Opioid Addiction

One of the most frequent factors that contribute to Percocet addiction or abuse is the environment. Where you spend most of your time, who you hang out with, and how well you handle stress can all have an impact on whether or not you abuse Percocet or other narcotics. Your environment can influence your choice to abuse Percocet or not if you don’t have enough coping methods, inadequate support, a history of trauma, or a history of taking other drugs.

History of mental illness

Other Risk Factors for Opioid Misuse

  • Prior drug or alcohol addiction
  • History of mental illness
  • Lack of self-control
  • Possessing simple access to Percocet
  • Having a personality that enjoys novelty
  • Family history of addiction or substance abuse
  • Mental disease running in the family
  • Receiving a Percocet prescription

Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse and Addiction

The signs and symptoms that you’re battling a Percocet addiction might be evident or not so visible, depending on the degree of your Percocet abuse problem. Abuse of the drug Percocet may be more visible in some people but less so in others.

Depending on how much Percocet you’re taking, how long you’ve been taking it, whether you’re mixing it with other medications, and whether you’re physically dependent on it, here are the following common signs and symptoms that you can notice.

Physical Symptoms

  • Weight variations
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Slurring speech
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Difficulty sleeping, including insomnia
  • Breathing problems
  • Exhaustion
  • Slowed heart rate

Behavioral Symptoms of Percocet Addiction

  • Social isolation
  • Taking Percocet when doing so is dangerous
  • Increasing the amount of Percocet taken
  • Continuing to take Percocet for longer than is recommended
  • Intent on stealing Percocet
  • Taking Percocet even after prior use has resulted in negative effects
  • Attempting to cut back on Percocet use but unable to do so

Cognitive Signs of Percocet Abuse

  • Inability to focus
  • Poor concentration
  • Problems with memory
  • Poor decision making
  • Poor judgment

Psychosocial Symptoms of Percocet Addiction

  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Anger and violence
  • Irritability

What are the Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms?

Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms

The dosage and how long you’re taking Percocet will both affect how likely you are to have Percocet withdrawal. Percocet is frequently given for short-term pain management. It’s unlikely that you will experience severe withdrawal symptoms if you take the medication as directed by a doctor. However, you are much more likely to have withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop using substances after abusing them or using them recreationally for a longer period.

If you abuse Percocet, your body and brain become dependent on Percocet to produce opioids. When you stop taking Percocet, your body will now lack the natural opioids it requires to maintain itself and function properly. As a result, your body enters a state of shock, which results in withdrawal symptoms. The oxycodone in Percocet can cause extremely distressing withdrawal symptoms. The discomfort you can feel after stopping an opioid drug might be mistaken for flu-like symptoms. It is sometimes comparable to having the flu, especially in a serious case with extreme nausea and vomiting. Symptoms of withdrawal from Percocet include:

  • Always feeling discomfort
  • Disruptions in sleep
  • Clogged or runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle pain
  • Aching joints
  • Percocet cravings

Percocet and Dual Diagnosis Disorders

Abuse and addiction to Percocet have the potential to worsen pre-existing mental health issues or lead to the emergence of new problems that can harm a person’s life. While treating Percocet addiction is the priority, it’s also important for the treatment to focus on and cover all possible co-occurring disorders, such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Other substance use disorders

How To Get Effective Percocet Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is battling a Percocet addiction, you don’t have to fight the battle alone. If you recognize that you have been taking too much Percocet, or if your loved one hasn’t been themselves recently after experiencing pain and there are more doctors and Percocet available to them, it is always possible to get help and effective treatment at a reliable and trustworthy recovery center.

Pathfinders Recovery Center is a premier addiction and dual diagnosis treatment center with top-of-the-line facilities in Colorado and Arizona. We provide well-researched, cutting-edge, and tried-and-true Percocet addiction treatment services.

Forms of Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Addiction to Percocet frequently requires a combination of treatments. Pathfinders Recovery Center provides the best available care for Percocet addiction and co-occurring disorders, including medical detox, inpatient treatment, medications, and long-term support.

inpatient treatment

Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioids

Contrary to what might seem, prescription drugs can help someone dependent on Percocet overcome their addiction. This medication can be divided into five groups:

  • Agonist medication: Methadone (Methadose, Dolophine)
  • Partial agonist medication: Buprenorphine (Subutex)
  • Antagonist medication: Naltrexone (ReVia, Depade, Vivitrol)
  • Combination of agonist and antagonist medications: Products containing buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone, Zubsolv)
  • Medications for specific symptoms: Any medication that helps treat certain symptoms from Percocet addiction

Detox Through Aftercare: We Will Walk with You

Given the severity of Percocet withdrawal symptoms, the detox is frequently the most physically demanding part of the procedure. The process of detoxification (detox) involves ridding the body of any ingested addictive Percocet substances. Detox is meant to help people who are stopping taking Percocet safely manage their withdrawal symptoms. In inpatient treatment, a medical professional’s supervision throughout detoxification can make it easier.

Your Sober Support in Recovery from Percs

Lastly, having a trustworthy support system is one of the most crucial aspects of treating Percocet addiction. The professionals of Pathfinders Recovery Center will provide you with all the support and guidance you need to beat your Percocet addiction and get you ready to reintegrate into society. You’ll receive long-term help and support up until you’re ready to be independent.

Find Your Recovery at Pathfinders in Colorado or Arizona

Fighting against Percocet addiction is not easy, especially if you feel alone. However, you should always remember that you’re not alone. Whatever level of addiction or difficulties you are dealing with, Pathfinders Recovery Center is here to help you deal with them. You don’t have to worry about what kind of life you may have if you could just get over your addiction because we will help you live the life you’re in control of.

With Pathfinders Recovery Center, you will receive all the tools, information, assistance, and direction required to win your battle. Take a massive step towards the life you deserve and contact us today!


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