Percocet is the brand name for a prescription painkiller that is made up of oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is prescribed for the short-term relief of moderate to severe pain. This drug affects the brain in similar ways as heroin and morphine do, by blocking pain receptors and flooding the body with dopamine, producing a sense of relaxation and euphoria.
The medication comes in tablet form, but it can be crushed, chewed, snorted or injected by users. Street names include: Roxi’s, Paulas, Blue Dynamite, Percs, 512’s and Roxicotten.
Opioid abuse changes a user’s brain chemistry, causing them to stop producing their own natural supply of serotonin and dopamine, the chemicals responsible for reward and pleasure. The person begins to feel the need to continue to use the drug in order to feel good and function properly in their daily lives. Over the long-term, not only do these changes in brain chemistry make it difficult to stop the abuse, but other emotional and psychological issues may be worsened.
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Inpatient rehab programs are by far the most effective form of treatment due to the intensity and frequency of therapy. A patient will reside at the rehab center where they will receive their detoxification treatment and behavioral therapy to help them understand and overcome both the physical and mental dependence to Percocet. During the detoxification process, prescription drugs may be given to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Furthermore, the patient is unable to leave the facility and therefore cannot relapse as easily. The patient will have their day planned with activities and therapy designed to treat all aspects of their addiction.
Outpatient programs allow a person to continue with their normal responsibilities such as school or work while they attend rehab for their detox and therapy. While not as intensive as inpatient treatment, outpatient rehab can be effective at treating less severe cases of addiction. The cost is also more manageable, but more is required on the part of the patient to remain sober.
Due to the high number of relapses among recovering addicts, the importance of relapse prevention strategies and aftercare programs cannot be stressed enough. Relapse prevention strategies are the techniques used to avoid drug use, which starts by controlling overwhelming feelings before they become cravings for drugs. Support groups can help recovering addicts maintain long-term sobriety after rehab by allowing a person to learn from others and share their feelings.
Aftercare programs include sober living environments where a patient can stay in a drug-free environment together with other recovering addicts. The environment allows them to go to work, school, or look for a job while still receiving many of the benefits of inpatient rehab.
- Kounang, N. (2016, May 05). What is Percocet? Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/05/health/what-is-percocet-opioid-painkiller/
- Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health [PDF]. (2015, September). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Last updated on July 7th, 2017 at 07:30 pm