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Addiction to Drugs/Petrcocet question



I have an ongoing lower back problem. Its not a disk issue, but seems more like strain or tendons right across the lower back, right around sacroilliac. Numerous steroid shots from an excellent pain management doc have unfortunately not worked.

Lately, it flared up again while I was beinding down (stupid of me....). I just got some percocet prescribed. I work in an Office and am at the computer. Sitting is really bad to the point where it affects my concentration sometimes. Last Thursday and Friday I just took one percocet during the day, which really, really helps and lets me do my work. Ideally, I'd just like to take one per day in the same fashion so I can work. I am paranoid though about getting addicted, although I have no history of addiction of any kind.

As a general principle, if I take percocet once per day, Monday - Friday, how long could I do this and feel relatively confident I would not become dependent? I am a 46 year old male, 6"0 around 165lbs and otherwise in perfect health. I realize issues of dependency are different for each person, and maybe I am being a bit paranoid here, but just thought it prudent to get some advice.

Thank you!

Hi Craig,

Well, yours is a very important question, but I don't think anyone knows for sure.  I appreciate your desire to be cautious.

Opioids are very powerful drugs, and while miracles for pain, they present with addictive risk.  It's probably true that certain personalities are more resistant to addictive processes, probably those who have better lives and no underlying mental health difficulties.  But opioid drugs can build tolerance, and there's no telling if that will develop in any one person.

Percocet is relatively less powerful than Oxycontin, or Oxycodone, but less stronger than Vicodin. Naturally, the more powerful the drug the more addictive risk.

Sitting is bad, no question about it.  I worry about it all the time, and do a lot of it.  I'm just about ready to get a standing workstation, or one that is a combination, like the Ergotron 33-349-200.  This allows you to sit or stand during the day when you work.

Have you tried acupuncture, or Yoga?  The latter is getting pretty popular for dealing with pain issues.

You might also want to check out a holistic pain clinic in your area, or a holistic chiropractor who can suggest non-drug alternatives.

The Percocet will work, but if you build tolerance, it will mean you will need more eventually.  Problem is, it's hard to say if this could or will happen for any one person.

Thanks for your question.

Addiction to Drugs

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Peter L.


I am available to answer any questions about substance use, abuse, and dependence. I can also offer perspective on treatment options and how to motivate someone to get help. I have over 27 years of experience as a substance abuse treatment professional, working with adolescents and adults in a variety of treatment settings. I feel I can answer just about any question in this topic area but can also access reference sources, or direct you to these for additional information gathering or education on your own.


I am a professional addictions counselor working in a very highly respected treatment center, as well as having a private practice in two states.

Masters Degree in Behavioral Science Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor in three states. Also an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor

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