The prescription opioid abuse epidemic in the United States has reached unprecedented proportions.
Even when you don’t account for abuse, both legal and illegal prescription drug use is by far more popular in the United States than in any other country in the world. One particularly eye-popping stat – the U.S. has approximately 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume 75% of the world’s prescription drugs.
According to the FDA, 52 million people have used prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet recreationally rather than medically at least once.
Most of these people misused prescriptions drugs once or twice but were able to move on without it becoming a real problem in their lives. But millions of others do develop a real problem. Specifically, there are over 5 million people addicted to prescription opioid painkillers in America today.
There are many ways that Percocet and Vicodin addiction can have a negative impact. Every time a person abuses opioids, it’s difficult for them to be productive or function normally for a few hours, which often impairs one’s work and home life.
Others resort to theft or fraud as a means to finance their addiction. Opioids can be expensive and a 120-tablet bottle of Percocet can costs upwards of $100 or more.
A negative health side effect of using opioids is respiratory depression – and when taken to extremes, breathing shuts down completely to the point of overdose. In 2014 alone, over 18,000 Americans died of prescription opioid overdoses.
This ultimate consequence of opioid abuse is why seeking out Vicodin and Percocet addiction treatment is so important. Without treatment, the worst can happen.
Inspire Malibu provides a comfortable detox environment supervised by experienced addiction professionals to keep withdrawal symptoms to a minimum.
Opioid-like drugs such as methadone are often used in opioid dependence cases to minimize withdrawal symptoms. But methadone can be an “out of the frying pan and into the fire” situation. Although it’s less potent than Percocet or Vicodin, it’s still a dangerous drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 5,000 people die every year from Methadone overdoses.
Suboxone is much safer, and it’s just as effective as methadone. Dr. Mohammad, founder of Inspire Malibu, realized the advantages of Suboxone before most other addiction specialists. In fact, Dr. Mohammad was the very first doctor in California to be licensed to use Suboxone to treat opioid addiction.
After detox, Suboxone still has a role in the addiction treatment process. It helps clients overcome their cravings, avoid relapse, and focus on improving their lives.
Both Vicodin and Percocet are opiates combined with acetaminophen (a mild analgesic and the active ingredient in Tylenol). Vicodin is a mix of the opioid hydrocodone and acetaminophen, and Percocet is a mix of the opioid oxycodone and acetaminophen.
Based on compounds found in a variety of the poppy plant (papaver somniferum), opioids are among the most effective tools a physician has to help patients manage pain.
In addition to minimizing pain, opioids also produce intense euphoric effects and are highly habit-forming.
The acetaminophen that is present in both Vicodin and Percocet (there is no acetaminophen in most other opioids) enhances the effectiveness of the oxycodone/hydrocodone. It also serves as a deterrent for abuse, making each individual pill much less potent than if it were a pure opioid by itself.
Unfortunately, the presence of acetaminophen can also make Vicodin and Percocet more dangerous, as just 4 grams of acetaminophen is enough to be a fatal dose. Percocet may contain 325 mg of acetaminophen, so taking just a dozen pills would likely be lethal. This is an especially big problem for those who develop a tolerance to opioids and need more of the drug to achieve their desired high.
Quitting Vicodin or Percocet isn’t easy and should never be done alone without medical supervision. The first step to addiction treatment is detox, which can be quite uncomfortable. Opioid withdrawal symptoms include:
In addition to Medication-Assisted Therapy, there are other in-patient therapies that help our clients work through their issues and beat their addictions, including:
At Inspire Malibu, we don’t believe in the one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment. As such, each individual has his or her own unique story and challenges, and a treatment plan that works well with one client may not be ideal for another.
We work with a small number of clients at a time at each of our facilities – with our high staff-to-client ratio, we have to resources to provide all of our clients the personalized support they need to overcome their addiction.
Even once a client has left the treatment center, the tools and techniques they learned during therapy can be used for a lifetime to stay sober and help prevent relapse. We also stress regular exercise and a healthy diet for positive lifestyle changes.
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