Percocet is the combination of the opioid drug oxycodone and acetaminophen — an over-the-counter pain reliever. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports Americans consume 81 percent of the global supply of oxycodone-based drugs like Percocet, and over 15 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, per the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.
The majority of individuals who are hooked on opioid pain relievers like Percocet ended up that way due to misuse and abuse of their own legitimate prescription. In 2011, around 31.9 million prescriptions were written for the generic version of this oxycodone-acetaminophen drug combo, USA Today reports. Many of these prescriptions go to patients in emergency rooms or post-surgical recovery wards every year. Those patients often go home and end up misusing the drug in belief that it’s safe since the drug was prescribed to them.
During detox from Percocet, one can expect to encounter some of the following symptoms, which will begin to develop 6-12 hours after the last dose and peak 2-3 days later.
- Restless legs
- Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cramps and diarrhea
- Panic attacks
- Muscle and bone pain
- Runny nose
- Depressed mood
- Paranoid state
Some facilities are big proponents of the rapid detox process; we aren’t one of them. Not only is the process costly and no more effective than traditional detox, but it is far from safe. According to Medpage Today, a review of one facility’s rapid detox program during a two-month period in 2012 turned up seven cases of adverse events and two deaths. Instead, individuals are encouraged to enter stable and reliable long-term maintenance detox programs that have been proven effective over time. During the initial detox period, recovering addicts may be prescribed clonidine, which is actually a blood pressure medication, but has been used off-label for many years to decrease the discomfort felt during detox from an opioid drug.
The most popular opioid maintenance program to date utilizes methadone — a full opioid agonist that acts on opioid receptors in the brain and fools them into believing they’ve just received a dose of Percocet when it was methadone instead. For those who adhere to the program, success rates range from 60 percent to an impressive 90 percent, the California Society of Addiction Medicine reports.
Another option is buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist that works in the same manner as methadone while limiting the user’s ability to get high off increased doses of the drug. The Fix touts an 88 percent success rate for the drug.
Around 29 percent of all diagnosed mentally ill people are substance abusers, Helpguide reports. Unfortunately, many who are mentally ill will self-medicate with Percocet to try and numb the effects their illness has on them. What’s worse is that abusing certain drugs, like Percocet, can actually ramp up some mental health symptoms. Recent research published in Pain notes a 10.1-mg morphine-equivalent dose increase among 355 patients was associated with an increased risk of experiencing depression.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, around 17,000 people die in this country every year due to opioid painkiller overdoses. The risk of overdose and other health problems is heightened with Percocet due to the acetaminophen component in the drug. Acetaminophen is commonly misunderstood to be a completely safe pain reliever, but it can wreak havoc on the body in large or frequent doses. High doses of acetaminophen are the most frequent cause of liver damage, The New York Times reports.
Detox doesn’t have to be scary or painful. At Axis, our approach is geared toward meeting your comprehensive health needs. Call today and speak with one of our caring support representatives who can get you started on the road to a successful recovery.