How Addictive Is Percocet®: Abuse and Overdose
In the world of high-level pain killers, Percocet® is a very powerful and effective drug. A combination of the semi-synthetic opiate oxycodone and acetaminophen, it is a fast-acting and long-lasting drug. Pain relief can be immediate and last for up to five hours. It is commonly prescribed for patients for those very reasons.
Effective for high-level pain
Percocet is a drug of choice for pain management following surgical procedures or traumatic injuries and is meant to be used in the short term, when the pain cannot be managed by less intense drugs. As soon as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be substituted, the prescription should be discontinued.
Euphoria and well-being
In addition to its inarguable pain-killing properties, this opioid also produces a stress-relieving euphoria that can quickly become addictive. A patient feeling less pain may continue to take it even though a lesser drug could handle it. The body can quickly develop a tolerance and may require a higher dose to get the same relief, also producing a stronger high and quickly leading to dependency and addiction.
Legal and easy to get
Because it is obtained with a doctor’s prescription and is considered as a less risky way to achieve a high, many people abuse Percocet and ask for it when an over-the-counter drug could be effective. Often the person just wants the high from its use. Since it can be obtained legally, it is often the drug of choice for those who eschew street drugs.
As addictive as some street drugs
Although considered a safer drug than morphine, heroine, OxyContin or other opiates, Percocet is still a highly addictive substance with a powerful narcotic effect. In fact, the high from overdosing is comparable to that experienced by heroin users. People can quickly become addicted and return to their doctor repeatedly, exaggerating or manufacturing symptoms in the hope of obtaining a refill.
When physicians recognize that a patient has become dependent, the prescription may be discontinued. These patients may already be so addicted they will do whatever it takes to get their hands on more, including stealing drugs from friends, relatives or strangers, faking prescriptions or doctor shopping to find one who will prescribe it for them. Addicts may eventually solicit drug dealers, making the switch to harder, more dangerous drugs.
Most common side effects
Overuse of Percocet can essentially re-create the symptoms for which it is intended to cure, including headache and memory loss, abdominal pain and diarrhea, dizziness and anxiety. For some users, relief becomes dependency becomes addiction, and the cycle continues, potentially leading to extensive liver problems and deadly overdose.
Opioids such as this are involved in nearly half of serious drug-related medical emergencies. These are signs of a life-threatening overdose:
•Seriously lowered heart rate
•Bluish nails and lips
•Life-threatening drop in blood pressure
•Catatonia or coma
Percocet, like other opioids, is a very strong and effective drug in managing the pain of trauma or surgery when used responsibly. However, usage can easily get out of control and become a powerful addiction with serious consequences. A person facing such an addiction needs to seek immediate and qualified help to overcome it.
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