Percocet is a prescription painkiller that combines acetaminophen (the active pain reliever in Tylenol) and oxycodone, a powerful opiate analgesic that mimics the effects of heroin and morphine. At high doses, the acetaminophen in Percocet can cause liver damage. The greater Percocet risk is an addiction to its opiate component that can develop very quickly with regular use of the drug. Physicians and pharmacists generally warn their patients about Percocet addiction risks, telling them to stop using the drug as soon as their pain subsides. For a number of reasons, it is easy for patients to ignore those warnings and to fall into the Percocet addiction trap.
Developing a Percocet Addiction
A Percocet user might directly or implicitly assume that Percocet is safe to take, notwithstanding any warnings, because a physician prescribed it. People inherently trust their physicians and expect that the physician will not prescribe a drug that would be harmful. When used properly, Percocet is a safe and effective painkiller. It is manufactured under strict Food and Drug Administration standards and unlike illicit drugs that an addict might buy on the streets, the quality, consistency and strength of the product will be the same from batch to batch. Like those street drugs, however, Percocet is a strong opiate-based product and the addictive qualities of the opiate do not disappear simply because a drug company manufactured the product and a physician prescribed it. A Percocet user who discounts or ignores warnings about the product can easily fall prey to a Percocet addiction.
Percocet and other opiate-based painkillers have become widely available over the past twenty years, with millions of new Percocet and Oxycodone prescriptions being written annually. Percocet users are generally not shy about sharing their Percocet experiences with their friends and family, some of whom may have their own supplies of Percocet. When a person’s Percocet prescription runs out, he or she may have ready availability of the drug from friends and family who have not used up their own supplies. Friends and family may not appreciate the risks and dangers they create when they share Percocet prescriptions, again because the product was prescribed by a doctor who presumably would not give an unsafe drug to a patient.
Recovering from Percocet Addiction
Physicians do not have the same close relationships with their patients in the current medical environment and may not be able to monitor them for signs of impending Percocet addiction. A Percocet user or his friends and family should remain vigilant for signs of addiction, including self-administered increases in the frequency or dosage of Percocet use, searches for different doctors who might write multiple overlapping prescriptions for the drug, and requests for surplus supplies of the drug from acquaintances. Patients who are experiencing stress or anxiety due to other life issues such as job or family problems are at an increased risk of Percocet addiction. People who have become addicted to Percocet will likely need to pursue a supervised rehab and recovery program to assist them through what can be a physically difficult detox period, followed by thirty to ninety days of recovery therapy to help them stay away from the drug.
If you have been taking prescription Percocet for a long time and fear that you may be developing a Percocet addiction, please call the staff and counselors at Hired Power at 800-910-9299 for assistance and counseling. We can help you stop your Percocet problems before they evolve into more severe addictions that are harder to control.