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Percocet Addiction

Percocet is an opiate and a potent pain reliever, and its active ingredient is oxycodone. This particular opiate has extreme potential for addiction. If it’s used as recommended by a doctor, it’s usually safe, but if it’s abused the consequences are painful and sometimes fatal. Abuse can lead to Percocet addiction, a physical and emotional hold that’s hard to come out of.

The abuse of Percocet and other opiates first started being a real problem in the first years of the new millennium. By 2005, over 11 million people in the US were abusers of Percocet. Almost two million people were addicted to Percocet and other painkillers in 2007- only marijuana and alcohol are abused more often. Prescription painkiller abuse is a problem in every state, and it’s particularly troubling that so many young people are abusing opiates like Percocet. Many do it to fit in, or to cope with stress.

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Addiction to Percocet and other opiates does not discriminate- it crosses age, race, gender and social boundaries. By far, the biggest group of Percocet abusers is young people. Some start out using the drug for a legitimate reason such as an injury, but many get it from their parents’ medicine cabinets, or from friends. When Percocet are crushed and snorted or injected, the user gets an instant “rush” from the oxycodone hitting the dopamine receptors in the brain. Casual use often leads to Percocet addiction because the drug changes the way the brain works. For this reason, beating an addiction to Percocet is very difficult.

As we’ve mentioned, Percocet abuse happens when the user takes it for a nonmedical reason, or takes more than the doctor recommends. The user may be able to stop if the problem is caught soon enough, but they may still go through some milder withdrawal symptoms like nausea, tremors and anxiety. When the user has lost the ability to stop on their own, that’s when Percocet addiction results, and the person is driven to obtain more and more of the drug. In 2007, almost ten percent of all admissions to drug rehab centers stemmed from Percocet addiction.

A Percocet addiction is treated in much the same way as any other opiate problem. The withdrawal symptoms are often very painful, and they sometimes are what keeps a user from quitting. These symptoms cannot be tackled on your own- they must be handled by medical professionals. Often, doctors will medicate the user with buprenorphine or methadone to slowly wean the addict off of Percocet. Other treatment components are counseling and behavior modification therapy.

However, not all drug treatment centers in the US are certified to administer these medications. Your doctor will be able to determine what type of treatment program will suit your needs. If you think you may have a Percocet addiction, it’s essential that you seek help because the longer you wait, the harder it will be for you to beat the addiction. Recovery is not easy, but it is possible.

Drug Enforcement Agnecy (DEA) – http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/index.htm
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) – http://www.samhsa.gov/
National Institue of Health (NIH) – http://www.nih.gov/

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