Percocet is an opioid that doctors usually prescribe to people suffering from severe pain and seeking relief.
When you take Percocet in the prescribed dosage, it can help you get through an injury or the aftereffects of a painful procedure. The problem is when you consume Percocet in excessive doses. When you do so, you spiral into dependence and addiction.
The first step to kicking your Percocet addiction is detoxification.
Read on to learn more about Percocet detox and how Live Free Recovery Services can help you get back to living your best life.
Table of Contents
- Understanding Percocet
- The Journey to Percocet Addiction
- Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
- Dangers of Long-Term Percocet Misuse
- Navigating Percocet Withdrawal and Detoxification
- Types of Detox Programs
- How Long Does Percocet Detox Take?
- Comprehensive Treatment Strategies for Percocet Addiction
- Challenges in Percocet Addiction Treatment
- Maintaining Sobriety After Treatment
Percocet belongs to the infamous class of drugs called opioids. It’s the brand name of a painkiller that’s a mix between the active ingredients oxycodone and acetaminophen.
Doctors prescribe Percocet to patients who need pain relief, whether from a serious injury or after a particularly painful invasive procedure.
Different opioids take varying times for you to feel their effect. In Percocet’s case, the effect is quite quick.
How Does Percocet Affect the Brain?
So, how exactly does Percocet work?
This drug attaches to opioid receptors in your brain and other parts of your body. By doing so, it inhibits the pain signals your body sends to your brain. The result is that your pain sensation is dulled.
Percocet also affects your brain’s reward circuit, which gives you a sense of euphoria and pleasure. It infuses your brain with dopamine too. This is where the danger of Percocet lies because it’s a slippery slope toward addiction.
The Journey to Percocet Addiction
As previously mentioned, taking Percocet is perfectly fine as long as you use it under a doctor’s supervision. It becomes an issue when you become mentally and physically dependent on the substance.
This mental and physical dependence turns into addiction when you start losing control of your impulses in an effort to get your hands on and consume Percocet.
This plunges you into a ruthless cycle that raises your tolerance.
When this happens, you need a higher dosage to achieve the same effect. Those who go down this road end up taking dangerously high doses of Percocet.
Biological, Psychological, and Environmental Factors Contributing to Addiction
Some people are more likely to develop addictions than others due to multiple factors. These factors may be genetic, environmental, psychological, or a combination of all three.
Although no one is born an addict, there are genetic factors that affect how likely you are to develop an addiction when you grow up.
If you have a family history of substance abuse, your risk of becoming addicted to a substance is higher.
There are also environmental factors that play a role in addiction, the most potent of which is peer pressure.
If you’re around people who use a certain drug most of the time, you’re more likely to do the same. This can kickstart a downward spiral toward addiction.
Your psychological makeup ties into your susceptibility to addiction too.
If you spent your childhood in an unstable family dynamic or went through traumatic events as a kid, you’re at a higher risk of substance abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
When a person abuses Percocet, they tend to show a range of symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, psychological, or behavioral.
The physical symptoms of Percocet include:
- Problems with balance, coordination, and motor skills
- Dramatically slowed heart rate
- Weight loss
- Slurred speech
- Shallow breathing
- Sleep problems, including insomnia
- Dilated pupils
As for the psychological symptoms, they can be anything from anger and aggression to irrational agitation and mood swings.
Percocet addicts could also show behavioral symptoms, such as doctor shopping, and taking higher doses than prescribed.
Abusing Percocet makes you fall out of touch with your friends and family as well. If you have a loved one who you know is using Percocet, urge them to consider treatment if you sense their personality becoming more withdrawn than usual.
Dangers of Long-Term Percocet Misuse
When someone abuses Percocet for an extended period, they face a risk of experiencing the pitfalls of long-term Percocet misuse. These dangers include:
Potential for Overdose
As with any drug, consistently taking Percocet in excess significantly raises the likelihood of an overdose.
A Percocet overdose can be fatal in some cases and lead to serious illness in others.
One of the main risks of Percocet abuse is developing respiratory problems.
Percocet and other opioids reduce the activity of the part of your brain that controls breathing. This results in your breathing rate being slower and shallower.
The danger of this is that it can lead to insufficient oxygen reaching your brain. In the long run, this can cause permanent brain damage, comas, and possibly death.
Percocet abusers also have lower levels of reasoning and awareness, so they may not realize that their breathing pattern is unusual until it’s too late.
Mixing Percocet With Other Substances
Long-time Percocet addicts tend to start mixing it with alcohol and other drugs. Mixing Percocet with alcohol is incredibly risky and can compound the breathing issues Percocet causes. This raises the risk of these respiratory problems having severe consequences.
As mentioned earlier, Percocet contains acetaminophen. Mixing this substance with alcohol damages your stomach lining, which makes you more prone to ulcers. If you don’t address these ulcers, they can burst and cause internal bleeding and serious infections.
The only way to kickstart your journey to recovery from Percocet addiction is to realize that you have a problem and not take the drug anymore.
When you achieve this milestone, the next step is to go through the detox phase and navigate the associated opioid withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be anxiety, depression, diarrhea, or vomiting.
How hard these symptoms hit you depends on the dose of Percocet you were taking.
In all cases, it’s best to enter a detox program with close medical supervision to minimize complications and the risk of relapse during the withdrawal process.
At Live Free Recovery Services, our top-notch team of doctors and counselors will help get you through this difficult time.
Types of Detox Programs
There are several types of detoxification programs you can enter.Here’s an overview of the main ones:
As the name suggests, medical detox relies on medications to remove any residues of the drug from your system. These medications, such as anticonvulsants, also help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms.
Some medical detox regimens use methadone and other synthetic opioids to make withdrawal less severe.
Although medical detox is considered safer and more comfortable than other detox types, some of the medications used may have side effects. This isn’t to mention the patient’s risk of getting addicted to methadone.
While medical detox focuses on the physical aspect, social detox is more related to the psychological.
When you go through social detox, you’re not given any medications to curb your withdrawal symptoms. Instead, a team of counselors and professionals guides you on a journey of psychological recovery.
When social detox is successful, it’s more effective than medical detox. This is because it treats the mental health issues that are often the root cause of addiction in the first place.
That being said, it’s not for everyone.
In fact, those who go through social detox and then relapse are at a high risk of overdose because their tolerance to Percocet is significantly diminished.
Of the three types of detox, rapid detox is the most controversial.
It involves putting patients under complete anesthesia and injecting them with naltrexone. This substance removes all traces of opioids from your body very fast. Since you’re unconscious, you don’t feel any withdrawal symptoms.
Where’s the controversy, you may ask?
Firstly, such intense anesthesia can sometimes lead to severe complications, even in healthy patients.
Also, sometimes patients wake up before the withdrawal symptoms have passed completely. You can imagine how painful it is to feel the withdrawal symptoms of all the opioids leaving your body at once when this happens.
How Long Does Percocet Detox Take?
Percocet detox starts within a day of your last dose and continues until you don’t feel any withdrawal symptoms anymore.
Exactly when this happens depends on several factors, such as your age, lifestyle, and history of substance abuse.
The symptoms you may experience include heart palpitations, insomnia, sweating, headaches, anxiety, nausea, and muscle aches or weakness. As mentioned above, going through rapid detox is the only way to remove Percocet from your system without feeling any symptoms.
If you don’t want to take the risk associated with rapid detox, you can expect your withdrawal symptoms to peak four days from your last Percocet dose. At this point, some patients go through severe psychological symptoms, such as agitation and depression.
After a week of not taking Percocet, your withdrawal symptoms will fade away substantially.
Comprehensive Treatment Strategies for Percocet Addiction
What comes after detox?
When you start your journey of overcoming Percocet addiction, you should know all the treatment options available.
Here’s an overview of the options that Live Free Recovery Services has to offer:
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Rehabilitation
The main two modes of addiction treatment are inpatient and outpatient rehab.
Inpatient treatment involves spending your days and nights at a rehab facility that gives you a structured environment 24/7. This keeps you away from distractions and possible relapse triggers.
Although some people are wary of this high-involvement approach, the medical and emotional support it offers works wonders for a successful recovery.
In some cases, inpatient rehab isn’t practical. For example, if you have a child at home, you can’t leave them by themselves and spend all day at the rehab center.
Sometimes, an outpatient treatment program is the more suitable choice. You split your time between the rehab center and your home, visiting the center at allotted slots on a set number of days each week.
Counseling and Behavioral Therapies
At Live Free Recovery Services, we also offer counseling and behavioral therapies that aid the recovery process significantly.
Here are a couple of examples:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Not only does cognitive behavioral therapy treat substance abuse, but it also addresses the mental health issues that are often the cause of addiction.
This therapy teaches you to have healthier thought patterns. It trains you to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, which greatly helps you get past your Percocet addiction.
This is because your behavior is fueled by your emotions and thoughts. If you can control your thoughts, your risk of relapse is lower because you don’t see drug use as a valid coping mechanism anymore.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioral therapy is quite similar to cognitive behavioral therapy. It too focuses on the connection between mental health and substance abuse.
It trains you to deal with the ups and downs of life better. Knowing how to navigate this emotional rollercoaster makes you less likely to relapse and helps you build better relationships with those around you.
Challenges in Percocet Addiction Treatment
Overcoming Percocet abuse isn’t easy. There are multiple obstacles to successful recovery.
The biggest challenge comes from within. It’s the denial that you have a problem and need to change, or being reluctant to take action in fear of facing the withdrawal symptoms that lie ahead.
Polysubstance abuse is another issue. If you or a loved one are addicted to another drug in addition to Percocet, this makes the road to recovery more difficult.
Maintaining Sobriety After Treatment
Once you complete treatment, the job is still not done. You need to acclimate yourself to the challenges of dealing with the ups and downs of life without resorting to Percocet as a coping mechanism.
To do so, you need a strong support system around you. You should also make lifestyle changes that make you less likely to be around potential relapse triggers.
Once you realize that you have a problem with Percocet abuse, the first step you should take is detoxification.
Percocet detox isn’t an easy task, and this is why you should undergo it under the close supervision of experienced medical professionals. Our team at Live Free Recovery Services can help you get through these tough times.
Take action now and start your road to a better life.
Published on: 2023-11-28
Updated on: 2023-11-28