percocet addiction


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I come from a town about 35 minutes outside of Philadelphia. My graduation class was over 900 and my high school had nearly 4,000 students. Having such a large amount of students it was not possible to know everyone, but there was a group of at least 50 kids that I talked to on a regular basis. Sadly, almost half of those 50 kids I regularly talked to now suffer from addiction of percocet. Percocet is a proscription drug made for a pain killer. It is an opiate and a step down from heroine. It is extremely addictive and very easy to get off of the streets. Most people get addicted from experiencing pain and being prescribed the drug. Although, a lot of people also get addicted from simply abusing the high it causes. High school students start taking percocets just to have fun and experiment. Before they can even realize it, they are hooked. Knowing so many people suffering with addiction to percocet, I decided to do some research on the drug.

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I found some information related to the drug. Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (a.k.a Tylenol). It is prescribed for reliving pain and is the most common prescription drug addiction. The aspect of percocet that makes it addictive is the narcotic oxycodone. Oxycodone causes pain relief which triggers psychological addiction. The analgesic effect causes pain receptors to block the release of pain to the body. They body gets used to not feeling the pain and becomes more dependent on the drug. Once addicted, the body needs the drug or else it will go through withdraw. Some of the withdraw symptoms are throwing up, fever, nausea, the shakes and intense headaches. Most continue to abuse percocet just to avoid the withdraw symptoms.

The biggest problem with percocet's is the prescriptions being written by the doctors. I found an article that was very alarming. In 1998 the International Narcotics Control Board estimated that 11.5 tons of oxycodone was manufactured world wide and by 2007 it escalated to 75.2 tons. The U.S. consumes the majority of oxycodone produced and used 51.6 out of the 75.2 tons manufactured on 2007. That is an 82% consumption just in the United States. The more the drug is manufactured, the more revenue pharmaceutical companies will bring in. As long as the drug companies are getting their money, they could care less if the drug is being used for pain or if it is being abused by addicts.

Percocets are not only addictive, but if they are not prescribed by a Dr. with a daily dosages, they can be lethal. From 2001-2005 the unintentional death rate related to percocet and other opioid use increased 114%. So many lives could have been save if they were not abusing drugs. In 2007, the American Poison Control Centers reported 15,069 cases and 7,528 single exposures related to oxycodone drugs. Clearly this is a big problem. Why hasn't something been done? Because the drug bring in money.

I tried to find studies related to percocet addiction, but failed to do so. Clearly there needs to be something done in regards to the abuse of the drug. Scientists need to discover a way to make pain killers non-addictive. Police need to do a better job of keeping the drug from being sold on the streets. If something isn't done soon, percocet addiction is going to be like the black plague and being to take over. Just like cancer, addiction is a disease that there is yet no definite cure for. 


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