Most people, at some point in their lives, will find themselves in some sort of pain, whether it be due to injury or illness. When this happens they are likely going to be given some type of painkiller and that creates the potential for abuse and possibly addiction.
Most painkillers out there are opiate based, such as Vicodin, Morphine, Oxycontin, and Percocet. These all contain opiate based drugs that basically function in the same way on the brain in order to bring pain relief.
Addiction to Percocet
The way that opiates work is to basically dope the brain. If the pain signals in your body are like an alarm clock ringing in your head, then taking an opiate based painkiller is a bit like sticking a rag in the alarm clock. Essentially it dulls the pain by doping the brain.
This is quite different from the way that some other painkillers work. For example, a painkiller like Ibuprofen actually reduces inflammation and swelling right at the source of the pain instead of doping the brain in this way. Instead of masking the pain it actually reduces the pain itself.
So if you happen to have chronic pain in your life, and your dependence on opiate painkillers starts to increase, you can see that you are stuck in a losing battle. Now, not everyone who has chronic pain will develop dependence and have their tolerance shift on them, but those who do will face the possibility of becoming addicted. The natural solution when dependency increases is to simply increase the dose so that the medication becomes more effective. And of course this leads to addiction.
Percocet addiction symptoms
If someone is addicted to Percocet then it is likely that they are taking more than what is prescribed, and therefore they will run out of pills early. So they might try to buy more opiate pills from other sources, and they might also hide their supply of pills or not know how much they have taken in a day.
There are physical symptoms as well, including being laid back and fatigued from being high on opiates. But most symptoms will be behavioral. Figuring out the ways and means to get more pills will be a top priority of anyone who is hooked on a medication like this.
If you are addicted to Percocet
You might want to seek help and try to get detoxed from the medication. There are a few options and a few issues involved with this.
The easiest route is to simply go to your local drug rehab. Call them up and see what your options are. In most cases they will have to figure out your funding before you can come in. If you have insurance or a lot of cash this is generally not a problem. Most treatment centers also take Medicaid. A few also take Medicare but not many. And, in some cases, you can even attend a treatment center for free on a grant from the state. This kind of money is drying up however in our slow economy.
Another option is ultra rapid detox. In my opinion this is not a good choice right now. There are health risks involved, as some people have died during the procedure, and it is not covered by insurance and is very expensive. With this procedure, they put you under for a few hours, and when you wake up you are magically detoxed and have no withdrawal symptoms. But, this does not help much with the long term ramifications of having to stay clean and sober. And, there are huge risks involved.
You can also curl up on your couch and try to tough it out cold turkey. This is hard to do but it might be more manageable than you think. You can take over the counter pain killers to and Benadryl to help with withdrawal symptoms, though this will not help a ton. If you do this make sure you do not exceed the recommend dosages on the labels of course.
If you have chronic pain then you might also look into finding an alternative method of treating that. If you can afford to go to a pain clinic then this is probably the best route, as they will understand the addiction element and work around it for you.
Percocet addiction treatment
As mentioned above there are basically 3 options for treatment:
1) Drug rehab – including detox and a residential portion, with group therapy, lectures, probably 12 step based, etc.
2) Ultra rapid detox – procedure in which drugs are flushed from the body. After care is up to you.
3) Cold turkey – lay on the couch and sweat it out. Again, after care is up to you.
If you do not have a plan at all then you could always go to some 12 step meetings, either AA or NA meetings. There you can at least gain some support and possibly some direction too about how you want to proceed in your recovery. If you are not clear about how you are going to stay clean then this is certainly better than doing nothing.
Perhaps the most important step is to take some action, period. Get on the phone and call the local treatment center. Get the ball rolling. Ask questions. Go to a meeting and ask questions. If you want to change your life then you have to start somewhere.