Percocet is a narcotic painkiller combined with the opioid oxycodone and acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The drug alters the chemical pathways in the brain related to pain sensation. They also slow down certain functions of the central nervous system, including respiration rates, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Used for long-term or abused, Percocet can be addictive, even though it’s considered a Schedule II drug and therefore, tightly controlled. Because of the pain relief and feelings of calm, relaxation, and pleasure, it’s easy to develop a tolerance for Percocet. The problem is that the brain can quickly adapt to the drug and disrupt the brain’s natural chemical messenger dopamine responsible for sending signals of pleasure.
Opioid addiction treatment includes a comprehensive program that involves the use of medication, behavioral therapy, screening for potential co-occurring mental health and medical diseases or disorders, and relapse prevention. These treatment methods can be outpatient, intensive outpatient, or inpatient or residential treatment, depending on the person and the severity of the addiction.
Individual, family, and group counseling sessions help teach better coping and communication skills and provide educational information. Outpatient treatment allows a person flexibility in scheduling sessions, enabling them to go to meetings around work, school, or family obligations and activities. Residential programs are best for those individuals who may have a severe addiction with a co-occurring mental health disorder. Under constant supervision with care and support, these programs keep a patient safe while undergoing detox.
A combination of factors influences the risk for drug addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the higher the chance that taking drugs will lead to an addiction. Some factors include:
Biology: A person’s genes account for half of their risk for addiction. Ethnicity, gender, and other mental health disorders can also increase their risk of drug use.
Environment: A person’s environment consists of several different influences, from family and friends to economic status and quality of life. Peer pressure, sexual and physical abuse, stress, early exposure to drugs, and lack of parental guidance can influence a person’s likelihood to turn to drugs as a coping mechanism.
Development: Environmental and genetic factors play a role in a person’s critical development stages, which can heighten addiction risk. Even though taking drugs at any age can result in addiction, a person who uses them from a young age is more likely to become dependent. Early drug exposure can negatively impact teens because the areas in their brains that control judgment, decision-making, and self-control are still developing.
Several medications can be used in helping with opioid withdrawal and are done under a physician’s supervision. These medications fall under five main categories:
After someone goes through detoxification for Percocet addiction, cognitive-behavioral therapy can help the addict change their behaviors and learn new coping skills. Sessions can be weekly or maybe even daily, if in residential treatment, and can involve talking about past traumas or triggers that may have led to the addiction. It allows the person to recognize bad habits and change them, plus enables the therapist to observe what stress the person is facing, thus, allowing them to better treat them.
These methods, along with changing nutritional habits, exercise, using mindfulness, reiki, and other holistic techniques, can establish a healthy mindset, further giving the person the best chances for success in addiction recovery.