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The prevalence of prescription drug abuse has skyrocketed since the 1990s. Today, the widespread abuse of these medications, whether stimulants or opioid painkillers, is recognized as a serious national problem in the United States. Surveys suggest that more than 6.5 million Americans take prescription medications for non-medical users, and around 4 million reportedly abuse painkillers like Percocet.

Comprising oxycodone, a potent opioid with acetaminophen, an over-the-counter painkiller, Percocet is a prescription opioid medication that doctors recommend to relieve pain and discomfort following an injury or surgery. When taken as recommended, this medication works wonders to help individuals gain the relief they need to enjoy their lives. However, due to the enticing high it can induce when abused, Percocet also carries a risk of severe addiction.

Percocet Addiction 2023

Painkiller addiction is a widespread problem and continues to be a more pervasive issue than before. Individuals belonging to all races, age groups, social circles, and economic classes are at equal risk of abusing these medications. Percocet addiction particularly stems from prescription use that ultimately leads to tolerance, dependence, and a tenacious addiction. Even those using it on a legitimate prescription can quickly develop a tolerance leading to problematic misuse, and before they know it, a full-blown substance use disorder sets in.

In addition to those becoming addicted to Percocet while using it as prescribed, another group of people never obtain or use it legally. These individuals only consume the medication to experience the euphoria it generates. Sometimes, they may use it to self-medicate for mental disorders like anxiety or depression. Other times, they may pop in a pill of Percocet to escape an aspect of life they find unsatisfying or problematic.

Some other reasons that may push individuals to abuse Percocet include the following: 

  • To feel more confident and comfortable in social situations
  • To avoid feeling bored
  • To change the way they see themselves
  • To escape a problematic area in real life
  • To change the way other people see them
  • To change the way they see themselves
  • To get more attention from parents or friends

Regardless of the reason for using and abusing Percocet, the situation always ends badly. In the case of self-medication, the drug rarely improves mental health symptoms but only adds to the burden by paving the way for addiction. Individuals who get addicted to Percocet eventually develop a risk of abusing other drugs and alcohol, which only makes the situation more serious.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, the warning signs of an underlying Percocet addiction can either be obvious or concealed. To know if you or someone you love have developed this addiction, look out for the following symptoms.

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Social withdrawal
  • Abusing Percocet despite understanding the risks
  • Consuming Percocet in higher quantities than prescribed
  • Taking Percocet for a longer time than intended
  • Trying to steal or gain Percocet by illegal means
  • Abusing Percocet even after experiencing negative effects in the past
  • Attempting to reduce the use of Percocet but failing

Physical Symptoms

  • Weight changes
  • Fatigue or exhaustion
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Altered sleep
  • Coordination problems
  • Breathing issues
  • Slowed heart rate

Cognitive Symptoms

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

Psychosocial Symptoms

  • Anger/ aggression
  • Increased agitation
  • Mood swings

A drug rehabilitation center can be the perfect way to seek Percocet addiction treatment. A typical treatment program in these rehabs may involve the following steps:

Detoxification

Percocet detoxification refers to the process in which the body removes all traces of the medication from the body. The process typically takes five to seven days, during which an individual may develop specific withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms result from weaning Percocet too quickly and may include problems like sweating, insomnia, runny nose, diarrhea, heightened body temperature, a state of uneasiness, muscle twitching, pupil dilation, and watery eyes. Another major symptom of Percocet withdrawal is a constant urge to always use the medication.

While withdrawal is essential to rid the body of Percocet, the symptoms it induces may also put an individual at a high risk of dehydration. A detox center offers assistance with detox by providing individuals with a safe and secure space to recover under the supervision of an expert panel. This panel includes highly trained medical doctors, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and other staff members who manage the physical symptoms of Percocet withdrawal and are available to provide emotional support.

Rehabilitation Programs

Once an individual finishes detox, they may enter formal treatment as a part of the more comprehensive plan. This formal treatment program aims to secure ongoing sobriety and help individuals practice it in the long run. A rehab program can take place in different settings, such as: 

  • Inpatient rehab, or residential rehab, where individuals live on-site for the duration of treatment, receive round-the-clock care and engage in different types of therapies. This level of care can be beneficial for people who require a higher level of support, such as those with severe Percocet addictions or the ones living in unsupportive home environments. 
  • Outpatient rehab involves commuting to an addiction rehab every day to seek treatment and returning home after attending all therapies and counseling sessions. This level of care best suits those with numerous work-related or personal obligations due to which they cannot shift on-site permanently throughout treatment.

Ongoing Care and Relapse Prevention

Staying in treatment and attending therapy are the best ways to prevent relapses of Percocet addiction down the line. Factors like stress greatly trigger a relapse; hence, most rehabs offer stress management classes and courses to help individuals minimize the risk. Some people may receive ongoing medicinal care to regulate their mood swings and keep their cravings to a minimum. Other commonly used relapse prevention strategies include engaging patients in holistic therapies, inviting them to attend follow-up meetings at the rehab, encouraging them to attend support group meetings post-treatment, etc.

Formal treatment for Percocet addiction typically involves using various evidence-based therapies to help individuals maintain sobriety and stability. However, the benefits of these therapies are only available when the receiving person lives in a trigger-free environment. Some of the most beneficial therapies for Percocet addiction include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy works on the idea that an individual’s perceptions and thoughts shape their behavior. The therapy aims to solve problems instead of finding its root cause, focuses on discovering the harmful perceptions of a person, and attempts to change them.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy includes a one-on-one session between a client and a therapist. The therapist works closely with a person to set short-term goals for moving past Percocet addiction. Once these goals are achieved, the duo pairs to rebuild the client’s life and health while maintaining sobriety.

Family Counselling

Family counseling allows individuals to mend their broken relationships with their family members and put their social life together piece by piece. The therapy also focuses on cultivating a positive atmosphere at home, using which clients can recover from addiction and minimize their risk of relapses.

Group Therapy

Group therapy allows different people from different walks of life to come together and talk about the one thing they have in common: Percocet addiction. It provides such people to discuss their experiences and issues while seeking and providing useful tips and advice to those in need.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Motivational enhancement therapy works by increasing a client’s motivation instead of guiding them toward recovery. It usually occurs in three or four sessions where a therapist tries to motivate clients and encourage them to seek change.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapies are a lesser traditional way of improving the well-being of Percocet addicts while reducing their symptoms of addiction. Some commonly used holistic activities to support recovery include yoga, meditation, art therapy, acupuncture, exercise, and tai chi.

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