- What are the Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Addiction?
- Am I Addicted to Percocet?
- How to Encourage Someone to get Treatment
- Staging an Intervention
- Support Groups for Family and Friends
- Percocet Addiction Treatment
- Finding the Best Percocet Treatment
Is Percocet Addictive? How Abusive is Percocet?
Percocet is a narcotic pain medication that contains both oxycodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is a common analgesic / pain reliever and oxycodone--an opiate drug--is the main addictive ingredient in Percocet. Some prescription painkillers such as Percocet have been dubbed "white collar heroin", as they can deliver a "high" quite similar to heroin, and are similarly addictive.
Percocet is formulated as an "immediate release" medication, which means that it exerts an effect soon after ingestion. To further enhance the side effects of Percocet, some users will 'tamper' with the pills, by crushing them or dissolving them in water so that they can be snorted or injected. These routes of administration allow Percocet to circumvent the phenomenon known as "first-pass metabolism" which normally occurs with oral routes of administration, and thusly reach greater concentrations in the blood more rapidly. This practice is extremely ill-advised and dangerous, as it can lead to extensive injury of the vascular system and infection at the injection site.
Percocet is available only by prescription. As mentioned--and similarly to other prescription opiates such as Vicodin, Lortab and Tylenol 3--Percocet in its various formulations can include between 325 - 650 mg of acetaminophen. Many are aware of the overdose potential inherent in opiates such as oxycodone, but might be oblivious to the fact that the acetaminophen component of painkillers such as these can present huge health hazards in alarmingly low doses.
Abusing Percocet by taking more than prescribed can result in painful and severe liver damage and even death.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Addiction?
The symptoms of Percocet abuse will vary depending on the length of time the drug has been abused, the amount taken, and if other drugs or alcohol are used along with the Percocet. The following are psychological and physiological signs and symptoms of Percocet addiction:
- Dry mouth.
- Itchy skin.
- Decreased respiration / lowered breathing rate.
- Gastrointestinal change: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting.
- Constricted pupils.
- Loss of consciousness.
Am I Addicted to Percocet?
One of the strongest signs of being addicted is experiencing withdrawal upon stopping or reducing the use of Percocet. Many describe opiate withdrawal as "flu-like" in terms of the symptoms and intensity of them. You may be addicted if you experience any of the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Gastrointestinal distress / diarrhea
Other signs of a Percocet addiction may include:
- Craving, or a compulsive feeling to use Percocet, despite being aware of adverse outcomes.
- Spending most of your time planning to use Percocet, being high on it or recovering from its effects.
- Tolerance, or the need for a higher amount (than usual) to achieve the same effects.
- Inability to reduce or stop Percocet use even if it is negatively impacting your close relationships, employment or other social obligations.
How to Encourage Someone to get Treatment
If someone that you care about has become addicted to Percocet, there are things that you can do as a family to get your loved one into treatment. The following are steps family members can take to help get your loved one into treatment:
- Attend meetings for local addiction support groups.
- Share experiences.
- Build alliances.
Develop a plan
- Outline consequences if the addict refuses to seek help.
- Consider an intervention.
- Don't be judgmental.
- Provide healthy encouragement.
Staging an Intervention
A structured intervention can lead a drug dependent person right into treatment. It is important to plan the intervention thoroughly, because an impromptu intervention, where the possible consequences are not prepared for, can be destructive. Reach out to those closest to your loved one; include family, friends and sometimes even co-workers. Here are some things to keep in mind while organizing the intervention:
- Establish your team.
- Confront the addict with love and concern.
- Give them a choice between entering treatment or facing undesirable consequences.
- Avoid arguing as it only fuels the addict's denial.
- Stick to the facts and avoid opinions.
- Emphasize that addiction is a disease that requires professional help.
- Be prepared to follow through with the consequences if your loved one refuses treatment.
- Have everything ready for your loved one to go to treatment immediately.
Support Groups for Family and Friends
The addiction of a family member affects the whole family. It is vital for families to become involved in the recovery process because:
- Most families have no idea how to deal with their addicted loved one and unintentionally add to the disease's ongoing dysfunction.
- It enhances outcomes in recovery, increasing the likelihood of continued abstinence.
- Family dynamics have a huge role to play in the development and sustenance of detrimental behaviors like addiction, and therapy can enable families to overcome their issues together.
Community resources like self-help/mutual aid groups can help friends and family members of addicts. Some treatment centers offer family based therapy or interventions, like multidimensional family therapy, that are designed to involve family members in the recovery process. This is a very effective way to break down the issues and start rebuilding a healthy family unit that is conducive to all members.
Narconon, the sister group to Narcotics Anonymous allows the family to experience that they are not alone in this journey. Speaking and listening to others who have been through the same thing is not only advantageous but also provides some advice for dealing with addiction. Parents of Addicted Loved-ones (PAL) is a non 12-step program that provides education and support to parents.
Percocet Addiction Treatment
If you think that you may have developed a problem with Percocet, there are a couple things you should know:
- Treatment is possible.
- There are several ways to treat Percocet addiction signs and symptoms
Finding the Best Percocet Treatment
Locating and choosing the right treatment plan for Percocet addiction may seem like a daunting task but it isn't quite as dreadful as it might seem. The best type of treatment will be one that meets the specific needs of the addict. Consider the following:
- What are the success rates of the treatment center with respect to painkiller addiction?
- What kind of adjunct psychotherapy do they offer?
- Do they offer family-based interventions?
- Do they accept payment in installments?
- Do they provide referrals to aftercare programs or sober-living situations?