Percocet is a prescription opiate-based painkiller that combines oxycodone and acetaminophen. The generally-accepted philosophy in the medical community is that patients who are experiencing post-surgical or trauma-induced pain will heal and recover better without pain. This is a sound philosophy, but like all opiate products, Percocet is very addictive. Physicians and pharmacists may counsel their patients about the risks of Percocet addiction, but when they are at the initial stages of Percocet use, those patients are more concerned with alleviating their pain than they are with the risks of Percocet addiction.
Percocet addiction will not occur immediately, but it can develop very quickly over the course of a few weeks or months of regular Percocet use. Addicts frequently progress through a phase of psychological dependency on Percocet before physical addiction settles in. A person who has developed a dependency on Percocet will experience physical withdrawal symptoms when he stops taking the drug. As that dependency deepens, he will develop intense cravings and compulsions to use the drug that are virtually impossible to ignore. The progression from dependence to addiction can occur, for example, when a person takes a larger dose of Percocet than his physician has recommended, or he begins to take regular doses more frequently. Percocet users will develop a tolerance to the drug’s effects over a short period of time and the prescribed dose of the drug might not provide the same pain control as it did when that person first used Percocet.
Percocet in Society
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has classified Percocet as a Class II drug. Among other restrictions, this means that a physician will not authorize a Percocet prescription renewal without an in-person consultation in the physician’s office. Percocet can also be expensive when purchased from authorized pharmacies or illegally from street vendors. Individuals who become addicted to the opiate substance in Percocet and who experience the intense cravings for that substance will often look for cheaper opiate products, particularly heroin, to satisfy their cravings. At this stage of the addiction process, the slippery slope of Percocet addiction is readily apparent. You started with a limited Percocet prescription to control, but you end up using heroin to satisfy psychological cravings and to fend off physical withdrawal symptoms.
Avoid Percocet Addiction
A strategy to avoid this slippery slope is to work with your physicians and care providers to monitor your Percocet use. Denial frequently accompanies addiction, however, and individuals who are slipping into Percocet dependence or addiction will often not be honest either with themselves or their care providers regarding how often they are taking Percocet or how much of the drug they are using. If your physician gives you a prescription for Percocet, tell your family or a close friend that you are using Percocet and ask for their help in monitoring your Percocet use. Outsiders will see signs of Percocet dependence or addiction that you might miss or ignore when the drug begins to control your actions.
The Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, offers many programs and treatment options to help men recover from Percocet or opiate addiction.
Please call us at 512-360-3600 for more information on how we can help you before you slide too far down the Percocet dependence and addiction slope.