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Percocet Addiction Statistics Contain Sobering Facts

Percocet is the brand name of a pain medication called oxycodone hydrochloride. It is a schedule II controlled substance, which means it can only be obtained with a prescription from a doctor or licensed healthcare practitioner. It can be administered in various ways, but the most common is oral administration. The drug contains a combination of acetaminophen, which by itself is an over-the-counter pain reliever, and oxycodone, an opioid analgesic. Its classification as a schedule II narcotic is due to its high potential for abuse. Medications that are categorized as narcotics are associated with euphoria, and it is to this feeling that one becomes addicted. Although such medication is effective at relieving pain, established Percocet addiction statistics indicate that an individual can become dependent on this drug in as little as ten days of continuous use.

Understanding Addiction

Many people can take narcotic painkillers without becoming addicted. When used as instructed by a medical professional, these drugs are not typically dangerous. However, certain individuals, whether they realize it or not, have an addictive personality. This means that they are far more likely to abuse drugs than others, although the reason for this is not yet known. Some signs of addiction include the following:

Those who find themselves needing a higher and higher dose to get the same effect as they previously obtained from a standard dose should take this as a warning sign. Additionally, if physical withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, sweating, tremors and dramatic mood swings occur when a dose is missed, an addiction is almost certainly underway. Some of the more obvious addiction signs include using the drug even though pain control is not needed, and obtaining more medication than one needs through dishonest or illegal measures. A hallmark activity of those who are addicted is attempting to acquire multiple prescriptions by visiting more than one doctor. Depending on where the individual lives, he or she may or may not be successful with this activity. Crushing or cutting the pills in order to obtain a more intense euphoria is the action of an addict.

Dangers of Addiction

According to the Mayo Clinic, respiratory depression is a common side effect of Percocet. When the drug is used inappropriately or too high a dose is taken, it can lead to a crisis situation during which the individual is unable to breathe. Circulatory depression typically goes hand-in-hand with decreased respirations, which can ultimately lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure followed by cardiac arrest, coma or death. Those addicted to Percocet are also at risk for liver damage, as each dose contains acetaminophen. The latter is the generic name for Tylenol, and is safe when taken in moderation. However, when one is abusing a drug, moderation does not come into play, and therefore liver damage may occur.

Perhaps one of the saddest repercussions of addiction is how the drug abuse affects one's family. Attempting to hide the problem and the guilt with which it is associated almost always visibly strains the individual's interpersonal relationships. As the addiction progresses, the person often becomes a mere shadow of his or her former self and may become virtually unrecognizable to those with whom he or she was once close. Sadly, some addicts lose guardianship of their children, as they are no longer able to care for them competently.

Sobering Percocet Addiction Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over $484 billion is spent annually on Percocet abuse. This vital statistic includes healthcare costs, automobile accidents, court costs and lost job wages. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that between 10 and 20 percent of motor vehicle accidents involve those who are driving under the influence of narcotic painkillers. Many long-term addicts eventually become dependent on government assistance, as they are no longer able to work. Others, out of desperation, turn to illegal activities to fund their habit.

Fortunately, help is available for those who are abusing drugs. According to Percocet addiction statistics, most individuals struggling with this problem need professional help. Therefore, it is imperative for the addict to seek treatment and enroll in behavioral therapy to combat his or her destructive habits and ultimately maintain sobriety. It is entirely possible to overcome drug addiction. For this reason, those who suspect they have become dependent or addicted to a narcotic painkiller such as Percocet should seek treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent the deterioration of their health and quality of life.


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