The opioid crisis in the United States now claims an average of 130 lives a day as a result of overdoses.
When many people think about drug overdoses, they think of illicit drugs like heroin. But a large percentage of opioid addicts are addicted to prescription painkillers.
These addictions are incredibly dangerous because the addict often starts with a real prescription for the drug. But once the addiction sets in, they continue using the drug for longer than the doctor has recommended.
One prescription drug that is particularly dangerous is Percocet.
Spotting the signs of a Percocet addiction as soon as possible can help you save the addict’s life. If you think that your loved one might be addicted to Percocet, keep reading for 7 signs you need to watch out for.
1. They Keep Taking Perocet Longer Than They Should
The earliest sign of Percocet abuse, or abuse of any prescription medication, is when a person continues using the drug long after the doctor has recommended.
Percocet is a prescription pain killer that is often prescribed for patients recovering from surgery. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain levels, which often means that it’s prescribed for use for only a few days after surgery.
Percocet is rarely prescribed as a long term solution for pain. That’s mostly because the drug contains oxycodone, a powerful opioid that is highly addictive.
If you are close to the person taking Percocet, pay attention to how long they continue taking the drug. If you know that their prescription should have already run out, yet they continue taking the drug, that’s a major warning sign that something is wrong.
Unfortunately, many Percocet abusers will attempt to hide their addiction. Because Percocet requires a prescription, when that prescription runs out, a patient may try to see a different doctor or get a new prescription from their current one.
Or, they may obtain the drug illegally.
Either way, if you know that a prescription should have run out yet the drug use continues, it’s time to talk with your loved one about addiction.
2. They’re Withdrawn and Secretive
When a person continues taking Percocet long after their prescription runs out, their instinct is often to hide their addiction.
Besides the fact that they are obtaining their drugs illegally — or at least dishonestly — from multiple doctors, they may also be experiencing internal Percocet symptoms.
Extended use of Percocet, like many opioids, can cause depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and more.
Whether the person is open with themselves about having a drug addiction or not, coping with those symptoms can cause them to withdraw from those closest to them. They may become secretive with their habits, and attempt to be alone as much as possible.
3. They Ask for Money Without Explanation
Getting Percocet without a prescription is expensive. If the person using it doesn’t have a savings account to sink into to fund their drug addiction, it’s likely their money will run out fast.
In addition, other Percocet effects, like lack of sleep, mood swings, and depression, can cause the addict to start skipping work or slacking off. If this gets them fired and they lose their source of income, they may become even more desperate.
The desperation to keep their Percocet high going for as long as possible can lead an addict to beg friends and family for money. If they can’t get it that way, they may even resort to stealing money or stealing anything they can get their hands on to sell.
4. They Experience Harsh Mood Swings
Another sign that a person may be experiencing a substance abuse problem is constant, sometimes violent mood swings.
The mood swings may come and go depending on how long it’s been since the addict took their last dose. Immediately after a dose, when they are experiencing a Percocet high, they may be happy and peaceful.
But as the dose begins to wear off, that mood will quickly change. They may become irritable and angry. If they don’t have access to more Percocet, they may also become anxious and violent.
Mood swings can be the result of a variety of conditions and addictions. But if you’ve noticed any of the other symptoms on this list in addition to the mood swings, it could indicate a Percocet addiction.
5. They Exhibit Coordination Issues
Abuse of Percocet can leave a person feeling uncoordinated and off-balanced.
This can lead to coordination issues that may be very sudden and obvious to those closest to the addict.
If you notice that your loved one has trouble going up and down stairs, trips or stumbles on flat surfaces, or otherwise seems to have problems with their balance, it’s time to look for other signs of a possible Percocet addiction.
6. They’ve Been Diagnosed with Low Blood Pressure
If an addict continues going to doctors trying to get another Percocet addiction, they may soon discover that they are experiencing low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure can be caused by any number of conditions. But it can also be another dangerous symptom of a Percocet addiction.
This is one symptom that can be tough to track. If an addict is obtaining their drugs illegally, they may avoid doctors entirely to keep their addiction from being revealed.
7. They Have Trouble with Memory and Decision-Making
Alongside mood swings and depression, another sign that a person may be addicted to Percocet or another opioid is trouble remembering everyday details, as well as issues with decision-making.
They may forget appointments or scheduled events. They may easily misplace and lose their belongings. They may also struggle to make even small decisions.
Spotting a Percocet Addiction
Spotting a Percocet addiction isn’t always easy.
Many of the signs of addiction can also be signs of other medical issues. They may appear random and isolated.
But putting the pieces together and realizing that each symptom might be connected to a Percocet addiction can help you save your loved one’s life.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a Percocet addiction, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol detox center.