It’s hard to say which drug is the most addictive because each drug has its own addictive qualities, and takes its own effects on the brain. Percocet is a highly addictive drug, as it is related to morphine and heroin. A drug’s additive properties are compounded by the vulnerability and susceptibility of the drug user, as some people are more likely to become dependent on certain substances rather than others. Percocet, however, is an opioid narcotic that has very serious effects on the mental and physical health of the user.
Percocet is a mixture of oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone alone is sold as OxyContin, but when mixed with acetaminophen, it becomes Percocet. Both are prescribed to patients with intense, non-chronic pain. It is derived from the same substances as heroin and morphine, and has comparable strength and addictive qualities. It features a time-release property which creates a slow, long-lasting high, designed to help patients have an elongated period of pain relief. In prescription abusers, this means they don’t require their next fix quite as soon as abusers of other drugs with shorter highs.
Addicts will often crush Percocet tablets and chew them, in order to achieve a quicker high than swallowing them whole. Smoking the crushed tablets, snorting them, and injecting mixtures of the tablets dissolved in water create even quicker highs, as the drug is able to reach the bloodstream that much faster. Percocet addiction can be particularly dangerous because of the slow release, as abusers can tend to ingest very high quantities in an effort to feel the high faster, and may mix it with other drugs and alcohol for intensified highs. Poly-substance abuse is not uncommon amongst Percocet abusers, as they often use it to neutralize the negative effects of cocaine and methamphetamine. Mixing drugs is never safe, and can result in dangerous health problems, including death by overdose.
In addition to the intense, euphoric high that is experienced after ingesting Percocet, there is a long list of other physical symptoms and side effects that can occur. Addicts take Percocet for the happy calm they enjoy, but they are also likely experiencing, or are soon to experience:
Coming down from the high of Percocet can include increased heart rates and hypertension, fever, chills and aches, sweating, tremors, seizures, panic attacks, insomnia, paranoia, depression, and anxiety. The come down can be very painful and uncomfortable, meaning the addict is constantly thinking about when and how they’re going to secure their next fix. Drug addiction is a constant roller coaster of highs and lows.
Because Percocet is a prescribed drug, it comes at an expensive cost. It is hard to come by on the streets. People will steal and forge prescriptions; they will shop around to different doctors, complaining of false symptoms in order to get a prescription. And addicts will often be found stealing money in order to pay for the drugs.
While it cannot be said for sure which drug is the most addictive, Percocet certainly has the qualities to be considered one of the worst. It does have redeeming qualities and can be used in legitimate ways to help desperate medical patients experience peace and painlessness, but when abused, it has serious consequences, mentally, physically, and on the lifestyles of the people who abuse it.