What Makes the Medication Addictive?
The main ingredient, oxycodone, is an opioid painkiller. In fact, as a narcotic, it’s on par with heroin in its effects. At the same time, it also carries a similar addiction potential. Moreover, the medication affects the brain. It succeeds in altering the way you experience pain.
In the process, it causes a dopamine release. Specifically, this neurotransmitter is something your body produces naturally to make you feel good. By artificially increasing dopamine release, you may encounter feelings of intense relaxation and even euphoria. These qualities cause some to reach for the drug even without a prescription.
What Does Percocet Addiction Look Like?
For example, are you taking more than the recommended dose? You’d do almost anything to score a few pills. For some, doing so means doctor-shopping and reporting a carefully rehearsed litany of complaints to various physicians. However, others forge doctors’ signatures on prescription blanks.
You might be asking friends or family members if they have any extra painkillers they don’t need. Often, a percocet addiction starts this way. As your body builds a tolerance to the drug, you increase the dose and change delivery methods. Furthermore, you might crush the pills to snort the content or add liquids to inject them.
Understanding the Dangers of a Painkiller Addiction
The acetaminophen in the drug puts you at a heightened risk for liver failure. This is a form of physical damage to the organ that can happen at any time. You significantly increase this possibility by drinking alcohol. In addition, doing so puts you in danger of an overdose reaction from the oxycodone.
As a nervous system depressant, alcohol boosts the effects of the opioid. This combination – or an overdose of the drug – can result in a slowing of your breathing reflex. In fact, your organs gradually deplete their oxygen. Eventually, breathing stops altogether.
This outcome is more common than you think. Accidental death statistics from the American Society of Addiction Medicine name drug overdose as the top cause. About half of these fatalities result from prescription painkillers.