Percocet Addiction Treatment Centers
One of the most commonly abused prescription opioid analgesics or painkillers is Percocet, one of the brands of oxycodone that has an additional acetaminophen or paracetamol component. Acetaminophen has both analgesic and antipyretic properties making Percocet ideal among individuals who may have flu-like symptoms where pain and muscle aches are complicated by elevated body temperatures. Unfortunately, like all opioids, Percocet has a nasty reputation of being highly addictive.
Opioid analgesics act in pretty much the same way as morphine, codeine, and heroin. The only difference is that, unlike these naturally-occurring opiates, opioids like Percocet are considered as synthetic opiates. They are nevertheless effective in the management of pain, especially of the moderate to severe types, such as bone and joint pain as well as headaches. It is also for this reason that more and more people are exposed to the addictive effects of Percocet, simply because there are so many individuals in the United States who have a medical need for oxycodone and other synthetic opiates. What is surprising, however, is that the United States only makes up about 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it consumes more than three-quarters of the world’s prescription drugs, more than half of which are synthetic opiates.
The dangers of Percocet are in its capacity to depress central nervous system functioning especially the respiratory system. While it is true that Percocet can be an effective way of managing pain by altering the way in which the brain interprets or perceives pain, it does nonetheless have other effects through activation of opiate receptors all over the body, including the brain and spinal cord as well as the digestive tract. As such, effects can range from drowsiness, mental clouding, confusion, agitation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea or constipation. These are generally mild side effects. Unfortunately, when Percocet is abused or misused, more serious physiologic manifestations of respiratory and CNS depression can occur.
Experts agree that many individuals tend to misuse Percocet or other prescription opioid analgesics. For example, many individuals use Percocet not for its pain-relieving and antipyretic effects but rather for its euphoric and relaxing effects. Because these Percocet effects are rather short-lived, the individual is inclined to take another dose of Percocet in order to sustain the euphoric effects and to avoid the largely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, many Percocet abusers tend to tamper with the medication by taking it outside of its prescribed route of administration. Majority of Percocet users pulverize the tablets and either smoke or inject them after dilution. This allows for the very fast absorption of Percocet in the bloodstream and its faster delivery to the parts of the body that contain opiate receptors. This also leads to the faster development of physical and psychological dependence as a result of tolerance to the drug.
Education is a very important component in the management of Percocet addiction. However, detoxification must first be initiated in order to prepare the body for the main treatment program. During detoxification, naloxone can be administered in the event that the adverse effects of Percocet have been deemed serious. Additionally, nutritional support is a must, in order to help the individual’s body to repair and heal itself. Furthermore, vomiting can produce electrolyte abnormalities that may be detrimental to the muscles especially those found in the heart.
More importantly, cognitive behavioral interventions are directed at helping the individual learn the fundamentals of Percocet, prescription opioid addiction, and what it does to the body as a whole. Psychoeducational groups can provide the necessary information for the individual to really understand the effects of these drugs. When performed together with the family, the whole treatment gets into an entirely different level as the whole family will learn about this kind of addiction. They will then be more empowered to care for their loved one upon their return from the treatment facility.
Since one of the underlying issues for Percocet abuse is the need to feel relaxed and happy, individuals can undergo experiential therapies as well as mind-body therapies which will help them find happiness even in simple things in life. They can learn new skills to cope with the different stresses in their daily lives. They will also learn a variety of non-pharmacologic methods of pain management in order to reduce their dependence on painkillers.