Determining if you are struggling with a Percocet addiction requires an in-depth examination of priorities and habits. Do you require Percocet to sleep? Is your Percocet medication supervised by the prescribing physician?
In order to determine if you are addicted to Percocet, you will need to be able to identify the common signs of this addiction, as well as understand the dangers of Percocet abuse if left untreated.
Dangers of Percocet Abuse
Percocet is a semi-synthetic opioid, consisting of oxycodone and acetaminophen. This pain killer is classified as a depressant, meaning it depresses the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. If taken in excess, full cardiac and respiratory failure can occur, leading to heart attacks, seizures, breathing cessation, and death.
The acetaminophen component in Percocet can cause liver toxicity or liver failure to develop due to high acetaminophen absorption. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are approximately 400 acetaminophen-related deaths in the U.S. each year attributed to acetaminophen overdose and associated liver damage. The FDA has since recommended that Percocet, Vicodin, and every other acetaminophen/prescription drug combination be limited in their sales due to this alarming trend.
Percocet is among the dangerous class synthetic opioids largely responsible for the current opioid crisis in the United States today. Oxycodone, the opioid component in Percocet, is the most widely used opioid in the United States. Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that there were 70,237 recorded drug overdose deaths in 2017 alone, and of those deaths, 47,600 involved an opioid.
Signs of Percocet Abuse
Percocet has a profound impact on an individual’s life and health. Universal signs of addiction include isolation, secretive use, and personality changes, among others. Although Percocet addicts display these signs, there are indicators specific to Percocet abuse that suggest addiction has developed. The following signs are unique to Percocet abuse.
Insomnia is a condition where an individual is unable to fall asleep or stay asleep for more than a short period of time. As an opioid, Percocet interferes with the brain receptors that regulate sleep. Once a tolerance to Percocet has built up, individuals will then begin to rely on using in order to rest. At this stage, the brain becomes incapable of naturally managing the neurochemicals that induce sleep and the individual will likely suffer from insomnia. This typically prompts the individual to take a higher dose to achieve a full night’s sleep.
All opioids, whether synthetic or natural, chemically manipulate neurotransmitters and receptors within the brain. After an extended period of Percocet use, the brain becomes irreversibly altered. This alteration in chemistry frequently causes mental disorders to develop. According to a study conducted by the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, patients on chronic opioid therapy have been shown to have relatively higher levels of comorbid clinical depression of up to 38%. The development of a mental disorder, commonly depression, is a strong indicator that opioids, such as Percocet, are being abused.
Dizziness or Lack of Balance
Those addicted to Percocet often display a lack of coordination, balance, and muscle weakness. Due to the sedative quality of this drug, dizziness is also very common. Falls and other accidents are frequent with Percocet abuse as it severely impacts the central nervous system. When an individual seems perpetually dizzy or off-balance, they may be struggling with a Percocet addiction.
Treatment for Percocet Addiction
Addiction is a devastating disease and you do not have to fight it alone. The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome on your own.
At Asheville Recovery Center, specialists have combined various therapies, treatments, and 12-step approaches to develop an effective, hybrid model of treatment designed to fit every individual’s unique circumstances.
If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828) 518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.