How to Treat a Patient with Percocet Addiction

patient-percocet-addiction

 

What is Percocet?

Percocet is a brand name drug containing oxycodone mixed with acetaminophen, and it is prescribed to treat pain. Some individuals use Percocet recreationally for the euphoric high it produces, rather than as a pain management medication. No matter how Percocet is used, withdrawal occurs when the individual stops taking it after a period of daily use for more than 3-4 weeks.

Percocet Withdrawal

Percocet alters the opiate receptors in the brain and blocks the body’s ability to feel pain. Simultaneously, this also affects the individual’s mood and can give them an overall pleasant, euphoric feeling. This is great for treating patients in tremendous pain but gets abused by thrill seekers and those looking for escape.

The longer an individual uses Percocet, the more their body develops a tolerance to its effects and a continued need for more. Over time, Percocet becomes part of the overall functioning within the body as the central nervous system adapts to its presence. When the drug is discontinued after a period of regular dosing, the body rebounds and works to regulate itself to functioning without the depressant effects of Percocet. This is what causes withdrawal symptoms.

Percocet withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Heart palpitations
  • Flushed skin
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Irritation
  • Restlessness
  • Tingling and numbness of the limbs

Treating Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms

The ways you can treat withdrawal include but are not limited to:

Medically Assisted Treatment. There are several medications out there to help shorten withdrawal, ease symptoms, and help take care of drug craving and dependence. Popular medications include: Nalotxone, Clondine, and Methadone. Buprenorphine has been more commonly prescribed in recent years and the primary medication used to treat Percocet withdrawal.

Natural Remedies. There are natural remedies to help treat symptoms as they arise. Massage therapy and acupuncture have been used with some success in clinical trials for treating symptoms of Percocet withdrawal. Additionally, withdrawal can be treated with flu and cold medications easily available at the pharmacy. Ginger and peppermint teas can address symptoms of nausea and gastrointestinal upset.

Medical Detox. Detox is a process that is designed to help rid the individual’s body of Percocet. During a medically supervised detox, medical staff address symptoms as they occur, and administer medications as needed.

Tapering. The best way to minimize symptoms of Percocet withdrawal is to taper the doses before eliminating Percocet use totally. A doctor can prescribe an individual tapering plan and can help you work out a gradual reduction in Percocet doses that would work best, on a case by case basis.

 

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