Painkiller addiction is a growing problem in the U.S. that has affected more than 5.7 million people, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Prescription drugs such as Percocet, that were initially prescribed for pain due to surgery, illness or injury have quickly turned into recreational drug use and has led to Percocet abuse and addiction.
Dangers of Percocet
Understanding the dangers of Percocet abuse and addiction begins with an understanding of the how the drug works and its effect on the body. Percocet is an opiate narcotic that is a combination of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and Oxycodone. Opiates affect the brain and central nervous system by blocking the opioid receptors and stimulating dopamine. When the opioid receptors are blocked and there is an increase in dopamine, the individual is euphoric and happy. Continued abuse of the drug may develop a tolerance, which will result in having to increase the amounts of the drug in order to experience the same level of euphoria and happiness as before. At some point the individual will not be able to function if they do not have the drug. Taking increased amounts also puts the individual at a risk for overdose. Percocet overdose may have sweating, nausea and vomiting, their fingernails may have a bluish tint, a slowed heart rate, low blood pressure, shallow breathing and coma.
Potential Health Implications
However, the danger does not rest with the narcotic part of the drug but there is also an increased potential for liver damage because Acetaminophen can cause liver damage. Chronic and habitual abuse does not give the liver time to heal and the result is the buildup of scar tissue and can result in the need of a liver transplant.
Percocet abuse and addiction is a real problem in the U.S. statistics released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration revealed that in 2004, there were 144,644 people admitted to the emergency for painkiller abuse. Four years later the number had more than doubled.
Problems with Addiction
Once someone develops a Percocet addiction, they may begin to doctor shop, or start to visit multiple doctors in order to get another prescription for the drug. Another sign of drug abuse or addiction is that they may habitually lose their prescription so that the doctor will give them another prescription and get more of the drug. Some individuals buy the drug from an internet pharmacy or they may try to buy it off the street. Percocet abuse and addiction is not without a certain amount of side effects such as: constipation, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness and drowsiness, itching, dry mouth, difficulty urinating, slow breathing, irregular heart rate, confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures. Taking Percocet with other drugs and alcohol can be fatal.
Quitting Percocet cold turkey is not recommended and most health care professionals suggest that you seek professional detox, with medical detox as the most recommended method for detoxification. Withdrawal symptoms may begin within a few hours after the last time the drug was used and the symptoms may include flu like symptoms, muscle pain, insomnia and anxiety. If you or someone you know are struggling with a Percocet addiction and are in need of detox, Gallus Detox Centers can help. Gallus Detox Centers specializes in IV therapy medical detox, a safer and more effective method for detox from Percocet and will provide you with a customized plan to meet your individual needs. Call Gallus Medical Detox Centers today at 855-338-6929, to see if our treatment program is right for you.