How to Beat Percocet Addiction Without the Terrible Withdrawals
For thousands of Americans who are addicted to prescription painkillers, the mere thought of withdrawal symptoms is the leading reason why most are afraid of breaking their addiction. As a result, opiate addiction continues to be a leading cause of problems for the economy, health sector, and social welfare. Addicts lose jobs or abscond from work, and families break apart. This article seeks to help those of us who are mortally afraid of withdrawal symptoms by looking at some inexpensive ways to combat withdrawals of a common opiate, Percocet.
Percocet is a Schedule II controlled drug that is prescribed for different types of pain, including acute and chronic pain. Percocet contains two active ingredients that make it an efficient painkiller. It combines acetaminophen, a regular painkiller, with Oxycodone, a strong opiate painkiller that is only prescribed by a doctor. It is the Oxycodone component in Percocet that makes it not only a potent painkiller but also an addictive drug.
Pharmacology and Mechanisms of Dependency and Addiction
If you are using Percocet to manage pain under your doctor’s supervision, you normally have to stop using the drug after a few months to prevent chronic addiction to the drug. Even at this time, stopping your doses will have some minor symptoms, which illustrates how effective opiates can be at causing a drug dependency and addiction.
Like all opiates, Percocet confers its painkilling qualities by binding to active receptor sites on nerve endings that bind the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins. Endorphins bind to these receptors only when needed to suppress pain and induce the production of dopamine, the body’s “happy” hormone that is critical in mood and mental state. On the other hand, Oxycodone binds to these receptor sites full time, which numbs pain consistently until the drug wears off. Additionally, this causes round the clock production of dopamine and other hormones that affect mood and brain activity.
Despite all the good feelings that are produced by taking Percocet, with prolonged use, you will need more and more of the drug to maintain your normal high and painkilling effects. At this point, you will have developed a dependency to the drug. Addiction sets in when your body fights back every time you skip your daily dose. Withdrawal symptoms constitute the most significant reasons why most people shy away from weaning off Percocet and other addictive opiates.
Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms and How Long They May Last
When you stop taking the drug, the first symptoms you will most likely experience will have to do with your muscles and joints, which were numbed throughout the period you were using Percocet. Additionally, you will experience varying levels of abdominal pain, agitation, fatigue, insomnia, night sweats, cold chills, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting as you go longer without the drugs. Symptoms tend to shift to psychological ones during the latter days of your withdrawal, to include depression, confusion, mood swings, and panic attacks.
The duration of withdrawal symptoms will typically depend on a variety of factors, but on average, it ranges from one week to a few months for some people.
Tips That May Help Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms
Despite different opinions shared in various blogs and other avenues for discussion, opiate withdrawal does not have to be extremely painful if you follow the right path. Withdrawal symptoms are the body’s way of screaming for help, so it helps if you listen to your body. Going cold turkey is one of the surest ways of unleashing the fury of withdrawal symptoms, so you might want to avoid an abrupt withdrawal as part of your program. You are even more likely to relapse because of the adverse effects of acute withdrawal.
The best way is to perform a slow taper, where you reduce your Percocet doses by around 8% every three days until the dose is small enough to quit completely. While there are still chances that you might experience some withdrawal symptoms, they will be much less impactful compared to going cold turkey.
When you do experience withdrawal symptoms, there are practical measures you can take to ensure they are the least of your problems. First, ensure you stock up on enough fluids rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential elements. The withdrawal process creates a great deal of systemic stress for your body. Taking a lot of fluids helps to replenish lost energy and avoid many withdrawal symptoms.
Take a trip to your local pharmacy or grocery store and pick up some over-the-counter medications for any pain you may experience during the withdrawal process. A good option is ibuprofen which is most commonly known as the brand name Advil. It is effective against abdominal pain, muscle cramps and strains, and general body pain. If you’re having trouble staying off of the toilet you may want to pick up some loperamide which is well known by the brand name Imodium. It is very effective at reducing bouts of nausea and diarrhea and will help you keep down food but extremely important to not take more than the suggested dosage.
Another excellent way to combat withdrawal symptoms is by taking a withdrawal formula. Withdrawal formulations or aids play a vital role in suppressing withdrawal symptoms by responding directly to the body’s immediate needs. For instance, CalmSupport, which is among the top withdrawal aids on the market, contains active vitamins and organic herbs that quickly replenish the body’s depleted nutrient supplies. Many people have found that using CalmSupport at least seven days prior to starting the withdrawal process gives them a sense of security knowing that they are putting vital nutrients into their bodies before the withdrawal symptoms are able to commence. Making withdrawal aids a part of your withdrawal schedule may help to ease some of the stress on the body and mind that withdrawals create.
In most cases, during the first few days of withdrawal you will not be able to exercise or put any extra stress on your body. When your body does allow it, and your doctor approves it, perform some light exercises every day for around 30 minutes to an hour. This will help flex your muscles and improve blood circulation, and may help your brain kick start the production of endorphins . You can also try your hand at yoga as it is known to relieve stress, depression, and other symptoms associated with the withdrawal process.
Keep yourself occupied with some good music, movies, or video games to help take your mind off potential stressors. If your boss allows it, take some time off to relax and unwind. This will help rejuvenate your body and to overcome withdrawal symptoms.
Once you are clean, join a support group, find a mentor, research recovery daily, subscribe to a new way of healthy living and do not let yourself get complacent. Doing these types of things can have a great impact on the success of your recovery. Withdrawal symptoms can be scary at times for anyone who is deep into a Percocet addiction. However, with the right mindset and information, you can greatly increase your chances of making it through withdrawal and most importantly, living the rest of your life free of opiates.