Opioid addiction in the US has skyrocketed in recent years. As of 2015, an estimated 12.5 million people aged 12 and above reported taking prescription painkillers for non-medical uses. This along with the number of overdose deaths due to opioids (more than 91,000 in 2020), is a cause for concern.
One of the most frequently misused and abused painkillers in the US is Percocet. Percocet is a combination prescription pain reliever that contains Oxycodone – an opioid and acetaminophen.
Doctors often prescribe Percocet for short-term treatment of non-chronic pain e.g. after surgery and for the relief of moderate to severe pain that doesn’t respond to other medication. Unfortunately, most people think that because it’s given out on prescription, this medication is safe. However, Percocet is highly habit-forming and can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction if misused.
Percocet works on the body’s opioid receptors to block out the pain. It also works on neurotransmitters in the brain and stimulates the release of dopamine which results in a feeling of relaxation, euphoria, and heightened pleasure. Taken in high enough quantities, it can induce a high similar to that of heroin. Long-term effects of Percocet abuse and addiction include liver failure, withdrawal symptoms (some of which are life-threatening), and overdose which can lead to death.
Percocet Addiction Treatment
There are various treatment options for Percocet addiction focusing mostly on detox, rehabilitation, and long-term support.
- Detoxification – medically supervised detox is recommended for anyone struggling with Percocet addiction. Detox helps the body get rid of the harmful toxins left by the drug and allows the person to enter rehab with a clear mind. Undergoing detox under medical supervision means having doctors on hand to help minimize withdrawal symptoms and to ensure the patient is comfortable.
- Treatment Programs – Detox alone won’t help someone break free from addiction. It needs to be followed up with an addiction treatment program. There are various options for this including residential programs or outpatient treatment depending on the individual’s level of addiction. In between, there are various other programs including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment. These days, there is the telemedicine option where those who can’t attend in-person treatment instead attend virtual treatment sessions.
- Aftercare Programs – Once a treatment program comes to an end, those in recovery still require support to help them live sober lives and mitigate relapse. An aftercare program could involve having the individual visit the treatment center for regular check-ins and follow-up counseling or they can be encouraged to join a 12-step program or other recovery support group in the community.
For the best outcome, Percocet abuse has to be caught early before it leads to psychological dependence and addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with Percocet addiction, we at Impact Outpatient Program in Louisville, Kentucky can help. We have a range of addiction treatment programs that can suit your lifestyle, affordable treatment, and a conducive environment for recovery