Percocet is a prescription drug that is actually a single medication made out of two different medications. The two contained drugs are acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is a common over-the-counter pain reliever best known for being the primary ingredient in Tylenol. Oxycodone, on the other hand, is a powerful narcotic (opiate). Narcotic drugs are highly addictive and are powerful painkillers.
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Because the powerful effects of oxycodone are slightly counterbalanced with the milder acetaminophen, Percocet is not used to treat pain that is extremely severe. However, it can treat moderate to somewhat severe pains.
This drug is addictive due to the chemical reaction that any narcotic drug causes when it enters the bloodstream. Narcotics suppress the nervous system while at the same time stimulating the reward centers in the brain, making a person feel a surge of contentment and even euphoria due to a flood of dopamine in the brain. With prolonged abuse, the brain stops releasing dopamine on its own and relies on the narcotic drug to signal the action. This is a physical addiction (chemical dependence).
Other narcotic (or opiate) drugs include:
This drug is sometimes sold by illicit or illegal drug dealers on the streets. As such, it has gotten several street names that are used. Some of these street names include:
When a person develops an addiction to this drug, they begin to experience and show certain symptoms. These can include:
Percocet abuse can have several negative and severe health consequences. These health issues can include:
Withdrawal Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
As physical dependence develops, a drug user's body becomes reliant on a steady supply of foreign chemicals to function normally. When a drug user stops supplying the body with the addictive substance, bodily functions overreact in an attempt to regulate major organs. This causes unpleasant symptoms and sickness known as withdrawal.
Some of withdrawal symptoms experienced by Percocet addicts include:
Once a substance abuser is ready to overcome their addiction, the first step is to go into medical detox. Medical detox helps a person to get the addicted drug out of their system gradually with the assistance of prescription drugs that ease the process and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
When the Percocet is out of their system, the recovering addict will need treatment for their mental addiction. This includes individual and group therapy that helps the recovering addict to recognize thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that contributed to their substance abuse problem and addiction and to develop alternative patterns of behaviors and strategies for coping that prevent relapse and future substance abuse.
Additional therapies are also available in the form of music therapy, art therapy, family therapy, and skills development or SMART Recovery.