Percocet addiction is when one is dependent on a painkiller used via prescription. Percocet abuse results from not following medical guidelines. This opiate is in a family of drugs called narcotic analgesics. In addition, Percocet is chemically composed of Oxycodone and acetaminophen.
There are several forms of the drug, including:
- Liquid medicine
- Concentrate solution
- Extended-release tablets
Percocet is more potent than morphine (1.6:1) when administered orally. Oxycodone-based drugs such as Percocet are given when patients have adverse side effects from morphine. Percocet is also prescribed following a surgical procedure. Hence, it is a strong narcotic.
Prescription Pill Abuse
Studies show that prescription painkiller abuse is on the rise, including Percocet abuse. Teens hear a lot of information on illicit drug use risks and effects. Furthermore, there is a prospect of legal trouble that deters teens from illicit drugs. Therefore, prescription medications can seem safer. The truth is, they aren’t. Prescription drug use is insidious. Consequently, it can have awful side effects. Hence, Percocet is very dangerous.
Signs of Percocet Addiction
Unfortunately, many teens and young adults show signs of opiate addiction. Some of the common symptoms of Percocet addiction include:
- Tolerance to Percocet
- “Doctor shopping”, or false pain symptoms, to find a physician who will prescribe more drugs
- Stealing Percocet and other narcotics out of medicine cabinets
- Buying the drug illegally online to satisfy Percocet addiction
How Do Teens Become Addicted?
Here is an example of Percocet addiction. A teen male undergoes treatment for a minor medical procedure. He has his wisdom teeth removed. Following the surgery, he has a prescription for Percocet. The first few days, post-surgery, he takes it as prescribed.
However, a friend comes over and teaches him he can crush and snort the drug to get high. This behavior kicks off the Percocet abuse. In addition, this leads to the hunt for additional painkillers. When his prescription runs out, the teen buys Percocet online or some other means to satisfy his Percocet addiction. At some point, he crosses the line from experimentation into substance use disorder. He now seeks Percocet, despite negative outcomes. Furthermore, he acts out in self-destructive ways.
Therefore, painkillers can sneak up on someone. Indeed, what is most frightening is that Percocet addiction can happen to practically any teenager.
Crossing the Line into Addiction
Once the line is crossed, professional intervention [may be] necessary to address Percocet addiction. It is crucial to help the teen find help. In addition, this is key before an overdose occurs. As a result, this type of addiction can be fatal.
This type of addiction can impact a teen’s psyche and overall health. In fact, physical consequences can be severe. Liver damage, memory impairment, and motor coordination are only a few areas of the teen’s developing body that can be affected. Consequently, parents and doctors must know the symptoms of dependence.
Red Flags of Percocet Addiction
Some common symptoms of Percocet addiction include:
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Mood swings
- Irritability and agitation
- Loss of interest in activities
- Slipping grades in school
- New friends who are also involved with drugs
5 Signs of Percocet Abuse
1. Drug Paraphernalia
Bottles of pills or loose pills that are not prescribed to a teen are a clear sign that they are abusing the drug. This requires immediate attention. If you find drug paraphernalia on multiple occasions, Percocet addiction may be the culprit.
2. Secretive Behavior
Many teens suffer from this addiction but are adamant about their privacy. However, parents need to look through their school bag, their car, or their room. If they suspect substance abuse, they need to know. Furthermore, a teen may take drastic measures to protect belongings. Drugs, texts, or emails that suggest drug use are also sign of teen substance use disorder.
3. Complaints of Being Tired or Sick Frequently
Being high on Percocet can make a teen feel “out of it” and non-responsive. When questioned as to why teens may respond that they are tired or don’t feel good. Percocet addiction alters teen behavioral patterns. Therefore, when behavior red flags, it can be a sign of drug abuse.
4. Trouble at School
Falling grades, skipping class, detention, suspension, or getting expelled from school are all signs that drug abuse may be an issue. School suspensions often result when a teen is found with drugs or they are under the influence at school. Percocet addiction affects a teenager’s life on all levels.
5. Lost Interest in Old Friends and Hobbies
When teens use drugs, they often lose friends or make new ones with shared interests. Their clothing and appearance may change once Percocet addiction has become a problem. The type of music they listen to and their topics of conversation may change as well. When the focus seems to be drug-oriented, it can be a sign that treatment is needed.
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