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What is a “Perc?”
Percocet, commonly known as a “perc,” is a powerful opioid pain medication made from two main ingredients: Oxycodone and acetaminophen. Prescribed by doctors, Percocet helps patients with moderate to severe pain. Although the drug is intended for short-term use, because of its potency, individuals can become addicted. Prescription opioids are very effective medications for the treatment of acute pain.
What Do “Percs” Do?
Percocet is a prescription medication with oxycodone (an opioid) and acetaminophen (a pain reliever and fever reducer). It alters pain signal perception, providing effective pain relief even for moderate to severe pain. However, both misuse and prescribed use of Percocet can lead to addiction.
When dependency on prescription medications occurs, an individual needs to take more Percocet to maintain normal body functions. This is the nature of addiction. Fortunately, Northern Illinois Recovery Center offers a comprehensive prescription drug addiction treatment program.
How Was Percocet Created?
Percocet is a prescription pain reliever created in the early 1900s. It is a mix of oxycodone and acetaminophen, and it was designed to relieve moderate to severe pain. Percocet was created to be less addictive than pure oxycodone, and it was meant to provide short-term relief.
How Is Percocet Abused?
Percocet is abused when people take more of the medication than prescribed, or they crush the pills and snort them. This increases the drug’s effects and can lead to addiction quickly. It is also abused when it is mixed with other substances. Percocet affects the brain by increasing levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure. This form of substance abuse ultimately leads to a Percocet high and lead to addiction.
The risks of Percocet addiction include overdose and death. Percocet overdose can occur when someone takes too much of the drug or combines it with other prescription drugs, recreational drugs, or alcohol.
In 2021, 3,013 died in Illinois as a result of drug use involving opioid painkillers. Prescription opioids are a factor in 24.9% of opioid overdose deaths. Opioids are a factor in 79.7% of all overdose deaths. 17 out of every 100,000 residents die from an opioid overdose. Doctors write enough prescriptions for 45.2% of residents to have one.
What Other Substances Can Increase a Percocet High?
Polydrug or substance use disorder using multiple drugs at once, is common with Percocet addiction. When Percocet is mixed with alcohol or another drug, the effects of each substance are intensified. This can be extremely dangerous and lead to accidental overdose.
People abuse Percocet for a number of reasons, including:
- To get high
- To relieve pain
- To relax or relieve stress
- To party or socialize
- To self-medicate mental health issues
Who is Most Affected by Percocet Addiction?
The demographic most affected by Percocet addiction is young adults aged 18 to 25. This is because they are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol and Percocet is easily accessible. Young adults are more prone to addiction because their brains are still developing. College students are also at risk for Percocet addiction because they are often under pressure to succeed. If you or someone you know in this age group is struggling with addiction, consider seeking help at a young adult rehab facility.
Teenagers in Illinois are 4.29% more likely to have used drugs in the last month than the average American teen. 82,000 or 8.69% of 12- to 17-year-olds report using drugs in the last month. In Illinois, 2.22% report misusing prescription painkillers or relievers.
Chronic pain can lead to substance use and abuse, and Percocet is one of the most commonly abused painkillers. Percocet addiction develops when people take the drug to get high or to relieve pain but eventually become dependent on it. Chronic pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injuries, diseases, or conditions.
Mental illness can also increase the risk of addiction to Percocet and other drugs. If you have a mental illness and are struggling with drug abuse, it’s important to get help. Treatment for both conditions will increase your chances of recovery.
Athletes can be affected by Percocet abuse and addiction, in a number of ways. First, they may be more likely to abuse Percocet because of the stress of competition. Second, Percocet can mask pain and improve athletic performance. Finally, athletes may be more likely to develop an addiction to Percocet because of the physical and mental demands of their sport.
Pregnant women are at risk for Percocet addiction for a number of reasons. First, they may be taking Percocet for legitimate medical reasons. Second, Percocet can mask pain and make it easier to cope with pregnancy-related pain. Third, pregnant women may be more likely to develop an addiction to Percocet because of the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Percocet Addiction?
The long-term effects of Percocet addiction can be devastating. They include:
- Drug dependence and addiction
- Overdose and death
- Serious health problems, including organ damage
- Problems with relationships and family
- Financial problems
- Legal problems
As with most addictions, Percocet addiction is a complex disease that requires comprehensive treatment. Recovery is possible, but it takes time, effort, and commitment. With the right support, however, Percocet addicts can overcome their addiction and rebuild their lives.
Can I Detox from the Side Effects of Percocet Alone?
To detox from Percocet, you’ll need to taper off the drug under the care of a doctor. Tapering Percocet can be difficult because of its addictive properties. Withdrawal from Percocet can result in a wide range of symptoms, including anxiety, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting.
Heroin as an Alternative to Percocet
When a person is addicted to Percocet but can’t get any more through legal or illegal means, they may turn to alternatives such as heroin. Heroin is very cheap and easy to get on the street, and it gives users a similar high to Percocet.
Heroin is an opiate that works by depressing the central nervous system in a similar way to Percocet. When people use heroin, they may also experience respiratory depression and even death. Percocet addiction and opioid addiction in general is a serious problem in the United States. Each year, thousands of people die from opioid overdoses this has resulted in the opioid epidemic. Those affected by this crisis should consider seeking opioid addiction treatment in Illinois to combat and overcome their dependency.
Fake Percocet Laced with Fentanyl
In recent times, a new and alarming trend has emerged within the sphere of illicit drug dealing. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has revealed that counterfeit Percocet pills where the active ingredient is fentanyl, are increasingly being found sold by local drug dealers.
This is a cause for concern because these illicit opioids are made to look exactly like real prescription medications such as Percocet. This means people may unknowingly ingest these lethal substances, thinking they are taking a prescribed medication. In fact, the DEA’s laboratory testing in 2022 disclosed that six out of ten fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills now contain a potentially lethal dose.
The impact on the population is devastating. The emergence of these counterfeit pills is thought to be fueling an increase in fatal drug overdoses across various regions. This is mainly because fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid, which can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.
People are at risk for several reasons:
- The exact dosage of fentanyl present in these fake pills is unpredictable. This makes overdose and other negative health effects highly likely, particularly given the potency of fentanyl.
- People suffering from opioid addiction may seek out Percocet and inadvertently purchase and consume these counterfeit pills instead.
- Individuals who abuse Percocet recreationally, or even those who mistakenly take a counterfeit pill thinking it’s a legitimate prescription medication, are also at risk.
It’s evident that this recent discovery underscores the urgency of educating individuals about the risks of Percocet abuse and consuming illegally sourced prescription drugs. It also highlights the importance of seeking help from trusted, evidence-based addiction treatment centers like the Northern Illinois Recovery Center, where individuals can safely go through opioid withdrawal and recover from Percocet abuse.
What are the Signs of Percocet Addiction?
Recognizing the signs of Percocet addiction is the first step in reclaiming your freedom and regaining control over your life. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it might be time to seek help:
- Increased tolerance: You find yourself engaging in more Percocet use to achieve the same effects. This is often the first sign of developing addiction.
- Physical dependence: When the drug wears off, you experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes.
- Neglect of responsibilities: You’re unable to fulfill your obligations at work, school, or home due to your Percocet use.
- Loss of interest: Activities you once enjoyed no longer hold your interest, as Percocet becomes the center of your attention.
- Continued use despite negative consequences: Even when you’re aware of the harm it’s causing, you continue using Percocet.
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit: You’ve tried to stop using Percocet on your own but have been unsuccessful.
- Cravings: You have intense urges for Percocet, which affect your ability to focus on anything else.
Percocet, while effective in managing acute pain, carries significant risks when misused. It can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence, overdose, and even death.
What Are the Signs of a Percocet Overdose?
The signs of a Percocet overdose can vary depending on how much of the drug was taken. Some common symptoms include:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Shallow breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
- Slowed heart rate
If you think someone has overdosed on Percocet, call 911 immediately. Percocet is a prescription opioid medication that is used to relieve pain. Percocet addiction occurs when a person takes a higher dose than prescribed or uses it for nonmedical reasons.
Percocet High Can Be Dangerous
Like any drug taken outside defined instructions, Percocet abuse can cause an overdose. Severe side effects range from physical health issues to mental health disorders to fatality. Therefore, anyone who has an addiction to Percocet should seek professional help from our addiction treatment center.
If you take Oxycodone pills for an extended period, the Percocet high will eventually wear off as your body becomes tolerant of the substance. As a result, you may increase the dosage of Percocet to continue getting high. The increase in dosage can lead to an overdose or a long-term dependency that is hard to quit.
The most preferred method of taking the drug is snorting. This produces a Percocet high up to five times faster than swallowing a pill. When you snort the drug, it bypasses your stomach and goes straight into your system. As a result, you may start to get high within 15 minutes of snorting the drug. By comparison, it can take over an hour to feel the same high when you swallow the pill.
Percocet Side Effects
Side effects of using Percocet may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itching or rash
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes, such as feelings of anxiety or unease
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Irregular heart rate or rhythm
A new warning has also been added about opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) for opioid pain medicines like Percocet. OIH is a condition where the patient becomes more sensitive to pain due to the use of opioids.
Long-Term Health Effects from Percocet Abuse
Long-term abuse of Percocet can lead to a variety of serious health issues, both physical and psychological. Some of these include:
- Liver damage: Percocet contains acetaminophen. Too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage or failure when taken in high doses over an extended period.
- Addiction: Oxycodone, the opioid component of Percocet, is highly addictive. Long-term use can lead to physical symptoms and psychological dependence.
- Increased tolerance: Over time, you may need higher doses of Percocet to achieve the same effect, increasing the risk of overdose.
- Withdrawal symptoms: If you try to stop using Percocet after long-term use, you may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, and cold flashes.
- Mental health disorders: Long-term Percocet abuse can result in various psychiatric symptoms and disorders, including severe depression. This leads to co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and mental illness.
- Respiratory problems: Like other opioids, Percocet can slow down your breathing, which can be life-threatening in cases of overdose.
That’s why we’re dedicated to providing evidence-based treatment programs that can help individuals break free from the cycle of addiction and regain control over their lives. Recovery is possible, and we’re here to walk with you every step of the way.
Percocet Addiction Treatment
If you’re suffering from Percocet abuse, you’ll want to find a treatment center that specializes in treating painkiller addictions. This typically starts with undergoing detox and then treatment will involve a combination of medication and therapy. In order to determine the best treatment plan a medical professional will have to first diagnose the severity of the substance use disorder.
A medical detox will remove all the toxins in your body that were caused by Percocet abuse. Medical detox will also remove the physical dependence to Percocet and ensure that you can transition into rehab. Without detox, you have a greater chance of relapsing.
Once you complete your detox, you can continue your treatment in an inpatient or outpatient treatment center. Inpatient care is when you live at the treatment facility and undergo 24/7 care so you can work on overcoming your addiction. Outpatient treatment will provide you with the ability to attend work or school around addiction therapy and support groups.
At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we understand the challenges you face when dealing with Percocet addiction. We’re here to reassure you that recovery is possible and within your reach. We use a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to treat Percocet addiction, which may include the use of certain medications.
- Methadone: This is a long-acting opioid agonist that reduces cravings for Percocet and can make withdrawal symptoms less severe.
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone): This partial opioid agonist can help manage withdrawal symptoms and decrease cravings. It’s often combined with naloxone to prevent misuse.
- Naltrexone: This medication blocks the effects of opioids, reducing the rewarding and euphoric feelings associated with Percocet use.
These medications, when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, can be a crucial tool in overcoming Percocet addiction.
Here are some of the most common forms of therapy we utilize:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This powerful tool helps you understand the thought patterns that led to Percocet abuse.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT focuses on teaching you skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotional regulation.
- Group Therapy: In group therapy, you’ll find a supportive environment where you can share your experiences with others who are also dealing with addiction.
- Individual Counselling: One-on-one sessions with a dedicated counselor allow you to explore personal issues that may contribute to your addiction.
- Family Therapy: In family therapy, your loved ones learn about addiction and how to support your recovery.
Discover How Northern Illinois Recovery Can Help
At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we confidently stand behind our evidence-based therapeutic approaches to Percocet addiction recovery. Our highly effective programs are designed with your personal freedom in mind, ensuring that you can break free from the chains of addiction and reclaim your life.
While a Percocet high may produce euphoric effects, it can lead to devastating consequences. Now is the time to end your addiction and seek a sober lifestyle. Here at Norhern Illinois Recovery Center we can give you the individualized treatment you need. Contact us today!