Percocet addiction can sneak up on just about any person who suffers from an injury or chronic pain issues.
Not every person will be vulnerable to becoming an addict, but almost anyone runs the risk of dependence, and some people will be more prone to addiction than others. The key is to make sure you are not over-medicating yourself or abusing the medication in any way. Addiction to Percocet will generally not occur if you follow the instructions and dosage directions.
It might help to understand a bit more about how the body reacts to painkillers such as Percocet.
Imagine that the pain in your body is sending signals of pain into your brain over and over again, much like the clattering bells of an alarm clock. Opiate addiction based drugs such as Percocet are a bit like putting a rag in the alarm clock. They don’t actually reduce the pain, nor do they lessen the pain signals in any way. All the opiate drug does it to dope the brain to the point where it does not care as much about the pain signals any more. It is a bit like having your brain get drunk so that it can avoid having to worry about the pain. If you have intense pain, and you completely eliminate through the use of strong opiates, then you are probably very close to being comatose. This is simply due to the way that opiates work on the brain–they dope it up and fog the mind in order to dull the pain.
Note that this is different from how some other medications work. For example, if you have an injury that is swollen, taking a drug such as Ibuprofen actually reduces the swelling and inflammation right at the source, rather than doping the brain. It actually reduces the pain rather than to simply mask it.
So you can see how treating chronic pain with opiate drugs such as Percocet might become a problem over time. If the person starts to abuse the medication in order to get more pain relief, tolerance will quickly develop and soon this will evolve into addiction.
Over more time, if the addict continues to abuse Percocet on a daily basis, they will eventually get to a point where their brain is used to a regular baseline of opiates being put into the system every day. The body comes to expect it and stops producing any natural opiates on its own. This is full blown physical dependence on the drug at this point, and stopping the medication will result in a severe withdrawal. The body is no longer used to producing its own opiates, and when the brain is no longer getting them from the pills, it will manifest as all sorts of withdrawal symptoms that basically resembles the flu.
The addict will be sick for about 3 to 5 days as their body slowly readjusts and starts to produce a small trickle of natural opiates again.
So what does all of this tell us? A couple of things:
1) Comprehensive Percocet addiction treatment
might need to include alternative pain management. Detoxing from opiates will not do much good if the addict is dealing with an intense amount of chronic pain and does not have an active plan to mange it without opiates.2) Dealing with Percocet withdrawal is best done in a medical detox setting, where the staff can manage withdrawal symptoms and keep patients more comfortable than they would be at home.
3) Percocet drug addiction is always preceded by opiate abuse in some form or another, so one sure way to avoid addiction is to take the medication only as prescribed and only as needed.
4) If you are taking opiates to manage your pain and you cannot feel any pain at all after taking your medicine, then you are seriously over-medicated. When opiate drugs are properly used they make the pain manageable without eliminating it completely. To eradicate the pain entirely is a clear sign that the current dose is abusive.
We can break recovery down into 2 phases: one is going to a drug detox to get off the Percocet, and the other phase is living your life in recovery while avoiding relapse.
The first phase should be fairly straightforward. Go to any of the drug rehab centers and get detoxed. Make a doctor appointment, get into a pain clinic, and do what you have to do in order to manage any pain issues that you might have.
The second phase of recovery involves creating a new life for yourself.
For some people, this will mean attending support groups on a regular basis. For others, this might mean working with struggling addicts on a regular basis and going to 12 step meetings. Whatever your path in recovery is, one of the critical concepts is that you continue to push yourself toward personal growth. People can do this in many different ways. Without doing so, complacency can set in and the likelihood of relapse increases. Continuous growth and personal development is necessary in order to avoid a negative slide into conditions that are favorable for relapse.