Although prescription drugs have a place in society for helping those in need, they can pose a serious threat if abused. The problem is compounded because these medications can be easily acquired. Of the many drugs available that can be habit-forming, Percocet and Vicodin are among the most misused prescriptions. As painkillers, these two medications can ease the suffering of those recovering from injuries or surgery. However, the euphoric sensation provided by either of these drugs can also become habit-forming.
Prescription Drug Abuse Is a Nationwide Problem
Prescription drug abuse is widespread among a variety of communities. Regardless of financial standing, drugs such as Percocet or Vicodin can be obtained at an affordable rate. Whether individuals have insurance or qualify for government assistance, prescription drugs are widely available. The potential for abuse is very high even though most people use the medication as directed by a physician.
Medications are fairly easy to acquire by teens who are curious about such drugs. Whether it’s from a friend or family member, there are many people who have some form of opioid analgesic drugs in their possession. Teens could also simply steal the medication right out of their parents’ medicine cabinets. As many people don’t think about the potential for addiction from something perfectly legal to obtain, they don’t lock their pills away.
When it comes to value, Percocet or Vicodin doesn’t have the same cost as other illicit drugs. However, it’s quite common for individuals who have extra pills to sell them to friends and family. In fact, many drug dealers diversify their inventory and often carry analgesics like prescription painkillers. They’re easy drugs to conceal from the law, as these medications can be obtained from any pharmacy with a prescription.
One of the reasons prescription drug abuse is so dangerous is because of how easy it is to overdose. In many cases, it’s difficult for people to realize when they’ve had too much since the euphoric sensation maintains an optimum level. Some people will feel the same high whether they take one or several pills. However, the excessive dosage increases the risk of several complications, such as liver damage and breathing difficulties.
Comparing the Harmful Effects of Abuse: Percocet vs. Vicodin
Both Percocet and Vicodin are made with a measure of acetaminophen. This substance is the generic form of Tylenol and is used to safely enhance the effects of oxycodone and hydrocodone, the primary ingredients in Percocet and Vicodin. What makes Vicodin more damaging to the body, however, is the synthetic substance itself. Acetaminophen has potential to damage the liver as does the hydrocodone within Vicodin. The oxycodone in Percocet is slightly safer, however, as it doesn’t damage the liver directly like its counterpart.
The hydrocodone in Vicodin has the possibility to slow or even stop breathing. This can be exceptionally dangerous, as the drug could cause the user to suffocate. Asphyxiation is a common problem among many different drugs, and the ease of overdosing on Vicodin only amplifies the risks.
Abusing Percocet can cause a loss of appetite, which could be harmful to maintaining a proper level of nutrition. This can lead to various physical and mental complications, including weight loss, impaired motor control, and maintaining focus and rational thought. Proper nutrition is more important than what many addicts believe, and the abuse of oxycodone only makes matters worse from a general health perspective.
When it comes to general side effects, users will feel many of the same complications whether abusing Percocet or Vicodin. Dizziness, lightheadedness, chills, fever and nausea can be experienced when using both of these drugs. However, Vicodin includes effects such as confusion, rapid weight gain and depersonalization in rare cases.
The total list of side effects for either Percocet or Vicodin are nearly identical. The only real difference in most cases is the severity of the effects themselves, which is also dependent on the individual and the dosage amount. One of the most profound differences in these side effects comes from any medications taken at the same time as Vicodin or Percocet. Chemical interactions with various other prescriptions can have lasting effects, depending on the person and the secondary medications.
Vicodin can cause a variety of physical and mental complications when mixed with antidepressants. Percocet is a safer alternative when a patient is on drugs like Zoloft. In some cases, it had been found that combining hydrocodone and Zoloft can lead to extremely violent behavior. The side effects for antidepressants alone can trigger suicidal tendencies as well as violence. The mixture with hydrocodone can amplify these effects, greatly altering a person’s mental state.
For many individuals, Percocet is more productive to reach a state of being high as opposed to Vicodin. Although both of these drugs do provide relatively the same kind of sensation, many abusers state Percocet is easier to manage than Vicodin. Although Percocet is considered by some a more addictive substance, certain studies show that either Percocet or Vicodin have close to the same potential for abuse.
Which Drug Wreaks More Havoc?
What it all boils down to is that Percocet and Vicodin have nearly identical complications with two major differences: liver damage and medication interaction. Percocet is safer to use if taking prescriptions for antidepressants, and there’s less liver damage involved with its use. However, both Vicodin and Percocet can be addictive and easy to abuse.
If you continue to take either of these medications after pain has subsided, you might be under the influence of an addiction. Call the hotline today at 800-447-9081 and seek help to deal with your problem. Each time you self-medicate, you put your body and mind at great risk. Trained professionals can assist you to deal with your condition and help you find an alternative way to live.