Percocet is a very popular prescription painkiller in the United States. It is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. This post looks at the signs of addiction to Percocet.
What is Percocet?
One of the most popular prescription drugs, Percocet, reduces severe physical pain. This is assisted by the presence of oxycodone which is an opioid analgesic. Acetaminophen, perhaps better known as paracetamol, is used to manage less severe pain and fevers. It is present in many over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Panadol.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association reports that about 0.37% of adults are affected by opioid use disorder, a kind of substance abuse disorder. The National Institute on Drug Abuse figures indicates that the annual number of opioid-related deaths in the United States increased by 300% between 1990 and 2010. The Center for Disease Control reports that almost 300 people die each year from acetaminophen poisoning, which can cause liver failure.
The Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
The development of an addiction to Percocet shows up in behavioral symptoms, physical symptoms, psychosocial symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
- Trying to borrow money or Percocet
- Abuse of Percocet even after prior use caused problems
- Social withdrawal
- Trying to steal money or Percocet
- Taking Percocet in greater quantities or for a longer time than prescribed for medical uses
- Attempting but being incapable of reducing one’s Percocet use
- Abusing Percocet under clearly dangerous circumstances, such as when consuming other addictive substances at the same time or when driving
- Attempting to obtain Percocet through fraudulent prescriptions if their own prescription runs out.
- Problems with motor skills including balance and coordination
- Dramatically slowed heart rate
- Weight loss
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Indistinct, slurred speech
- Shallow breathing
- Sleep problems, including insomnia
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using Percocet
- Loss of focus and/or concentration
- Poor judgment and recall
- Anger and aggression
- Mood swings
Effects of Percocet Addiction
The negative effects are:
- Suicidal ideation and even suicide attempts
- Sexual dysfunction
- Development and/or exacerbation of co-occurring mental health problems. These co-occurring problems include:
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Bipolar disorders
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Other substance abuse disorders
- Social isolation
- Eye problems
- Damage to heart and lungs
- Injuries caused because of the side effects of Percocet
These can divide family members and lead to crime or carelessness, which, together with other legal issues that may arise, can even lead to imprisonment. It can burden relationships and even result in job loss and financial problems, resulting in homelessness.
Indicators of Withdrawal and Overdose
When someone with an addiction to Percocet cannot take the drug or chooses not to, they will experience several withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Dilated pupils
- Twitches and shaking
- Discomfort, distress, or unease
- A strong desire or need to take Percocet
- A fever
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sweat excessively
If someone overdoses on Percocet, they will exhibit the symptoms below:
- Shallow, labored breathing
- Loss of memory
- Abdominal cramps
- Slurred speech
- They may become comatose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Becoming unconscious
- Slowed heartbeat/bradycardia
If anyone exhibits any of these symptoms, they need to receive medical treatment immediately.
Percocet contains two painkillers, one of which is an opioid analgesic and is highly addictive, and both of which can have harmful physical effects. Adverse reactions can create huge problems for those with this type of substance abuse disorder.
Treatment of the problem is best done under medical supervision, particularly during the withdrawal phase, as medical detox is necessary given the intensity and scope of withdrawal effects. With the correct treatment plan and professional help, there is a high potential for victory over this type of addiction. Going forward, it is necessary to constantly monitor oneself to reduce the chances of abusing again.
For help with Percocet addiction or any other addiction, please call 877-579-0649.