What is Percocet?

Percocet is a pain medication made up of a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a narcotic pain reliever which can give effects that are similar to those of drugs like heroin or morphine. Acetaminophen is another painkiller which can also help to reduce fevers.

Percocet Abuse and Dependence Treatment

Percocet Addiction Treatment | Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol ServicesAs a person uses an increased amount of Percocet, the brain actually begins to perceive pain differently than it did prior to the medication intake. The body’s nervous system is impacted and the brain’s pain receptors are, in a sense, blocked so that pain is not felt.

Percocet triggers a release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain which acts as a “chemical courier”, scientifically called a neurotransmitter. It is what lets the body feel pleasurable emotions. When Percocet triggers the release, the individual will feel a euphoric “high”. Some may feel more relaxed, sleepy, or overall pleasure.

Continued and even excessive usage of Percocet can lead to a tolerance for the medication. Some people may become so accustomed to the pain relief of the originally prescribed dosage that they may need a higher dosage in order to achieve the same feeling. This tolerance may lead to dependence.

Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse and Dependence

When one becomes dependent on Percocet, his or her body and brain will fail to operate properly because they have become used to having the assistance of the medication. The brain’s entire structure changes with increased intake of Percocet, thus, making it difficult for it to process well without the medicine.

Signs and symptoms of Percocet abuse and dependence will differ based on the individual. Some people who are dependent on this medication may experience pleasant emotions like overall well-being and they may feel entirely carefree. Others may feel fewer light emotions. They may show signs of irritation, nervousness, and depression. They might seem anxious and agitated. Other signs and symptoms might include any or all of the following: fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Certain individuals could experience paranoia, hallucinations, or delirium. In extreme cases of dependence, an individual might perform undesirable actions in a desperate attempt to obtain more Percocet. Some may feign illness to get a prescription; others might even steal the medication.

Percocet abuse could result in serious health issues. Seizures and organ damage are among the serious long-term effects of the drug use. Other possible effects of Percocet abuse can include memory loss, changes in breathing rate, coma, and possibly organ failure. Those who already deal with a mental disorder could experience a worsening in their condition as a result of Percocet dependence.

Medication Assisted Treatment for Percocet Abuse and Dependence

Percocet Addiction Treatment | Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol ServicesMedication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a method of treatment which uses a combination of medicine and behavioral therapy to help people who have become dependent on medications. The length of time the treatment lasts varies from patient to patient. MAT helps to reduce the discomfort one feels while going through withdrawal from dependence-causing medications.

One medication that is used during the MAT process is Vivitrol. It helps patients detox from Percocet dependence because it blocks the brain’s ability to register the stimulation usually provided by Percocet. The blockage can last for a month and, should a patient relapse, they will not feel the same effects of the Percocet. This may, in turn, help them to become less dependent on the drug.

Another medication that can be used in medication-assisted treatment is Suboxone. This medication helps to suppress the symptoms of withdrawal. Such symptoms can be so severe that they cause patients to resort back to drug dependency simply in an effort to rid themselves of the illness they experience during withdrawal. Suboxone works to eliminate those feelings so that the individual can move towards operating without being dependent on Percocet.

MAT offers many benefits. The process is cost-effective because there is no need for hospitalization. Also, because it is an outpatient treatment, patients can get the help they need on their own time rather than having to live in a rehabilitation center. Diablo Valley works to make the detox process easier for patients who have struggled with Percocet dependence.

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