Percocet is a drug prescribed to patients suffering extreme pain. Usually this will be in the confines of a hospital, where dosage can be monitored closely. However, when people become addicted to prescribed drugs, they find desperate and creative ways to fulfil their needs
Many people become addicted to prescription drugs after being exposed to them through a medical procedure of their own. Often after a surgery or treatment, patients are prescribed opioid narcotics such as Percocet and Oxycontin, which are both derived from oxycodone, and are related to morphine. Unfortunately, morphine is related to heroin, which is where addiction comes in. Alongside the necessary benefits of pain relief that make these drugs useful, there are highly addictive qualities that make these drugs dangerous. After using Percocet to get through the pain of a medical procedure, it is very hard to get off it. Patients become dependent on the euphoric calm, sometimes physically, but often mentally. The brain becomes numb to the natural ability to feel pleasure after an opioid narcotic is introduced and used over a prolonged period of time. At this point, the patient feels the need for the drug all of the time because they are unable to feel and experience pleasure without it. The brain will convince itself it’s in pain in order to get the next fix.
Many people who are addicted to prescription drugs are not, themselves, the recipients of the prescriptions. They do, however, find ways to obtain the drugs anyways. Some people will sell their own prescriptions on the black market. They make a lot of money doing this. Other people, whether addicts or dealers, will sell their loved one’s prescriptions. Some people steal prescriptions, and others will fake symptoms and visit multiple doctors in an attempt to receive multiple prescriptions for the same thing. This is called doctor shopping.
Percocet is a very expensive drug, so when a person is addicted to it, whether they came by it honestly to begin with or not, it can take a toll on their financial health in addition to their mental and physical health. Without medical coverage for prescription drugs, an on-going addiction to Percocet can be costly. For people who are either buying stolen prescriptions, or buying it illegally on the street, it is especially costly.
Like addicts of other abused substances, Percocet addicts will spend all of their income and savings on the drug. They will often borrow money from family and friends, and will likely never pay it back. If they do, they end up borrowing again and again. Eventually this leads to stealing, at first from family and close friends, and eventually in higher-risk situations. Drug addiction is frequently connected to criminal behaviour because addicts lose all ability to support their own habits honestly, and must turn to crime to fill their financial needs. Drug addiction is a downward spiral.
The scariest thing about addiction to prescribed drugs is that it can happen to anyone. The stigma around drug addiction suggests that drug addicts are low-class, destitute people with no future, so they turn to drugs. But when a broken bone or a bout of cancer can lead to hospitalization and exposure to narcotics, no one is safe. The potential to become addicted to prescription drugs is a possibility for anyone. It is crucial that patients follow their doctors’ orders, and do everything they can to avoid becoming dependent on the drugs prescribed to help them through a hard time.