Percocet (Oxycodone): Insights into Usage and Addiction Symptoms

Percocet addiction is not unusual, even for patients who take the medication as prescribed by their physician. If you need help with Percocet detox and recovery, contact a caring counselor at our 24-Hour Toll-Free Addiction Helpline, 888-446-5952.

Percocet addiction can happen to almost anyone. Misuse and abuse of this painkiller cuts across all groups, regardless of age, race, gender, education, or economic status. During the past decade, the number of oxycodone prescriptions dispensed, along with the related instances of overdose, emergency department visits, and people seeking Percocet detox, has increased dramatically across the board. In 2011 alone, 151,218 emergencies related to the nonmedical use of oxycodone products were reported — a 263% increase from 2004. In addition, those needing oxycodone and Percocet detox accounted for 42,808 emergency room visits.

People often mistakenly believe that Percocet and other prescription pain medications are a safer alternative to getting high than Illegal Street drugs such as heroin. Additionally, addiction sometimes begins in patients who take medicine for medical reasons. In any case, Percocet abuse can lead to the same harmful problems and dangers as illicit drugs.

What is Percocet (Oxycodone)?

Percocet is the trade name for the drug oxycodone — a semi-synthetic opioid that has twice the analgesic potency as morphine. To increase the effects of oxycodone, Percocet also contains acetaminophen, as in Tylenol. Percocet is widely prescribed to manage moderate to severe acute pain. This pain medication is also known to produce feelings of relaxation and euphoria. Because of its potential for dependence and addiction, Percocet tablets are classified under Scheduled II of the Controlled Substances Act.

Percocet, like other opioid pain medications, is often diverted for nonmedical use. On the streets, it is called Percs, among other names. Percocet abusers will chew the pills instead of swallowing them for an immediate effect. Some will crush the tablets and snort the powder to get an even more rapid high. Administering Percocet in ways not intended can result in dangerous consequences, including overdose.

What are the Effects and Dangers of Percocet?

A primary danger associated with opioid medications, including Percocet, is respiratory depression. The risk increases significantly when Percocet is used in combination with alcohol and other drugs or when chewed, snorted, or injected.

In addition, Percocet contains acetaminophen, which can cause acute liver failure in some cases, particularly when taking too much medication. During an overdose, toxicity may occur from either the acetaminophen or oxycodone in Percocet.

Signs and Symptoms Percocet Overdose and Toxicity

Opioid prescription painkillers cause more deaths from overdose than from all other drugs combined, including cocaine and heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Signs and symptoms of Percocet toxicity and overdose include:

Impaired coordinationDepression of respiration
Cold and clammy skinLowered pulse and blood pressure
Pinpoint pupils

In cases of severe overdose, cardiac arrest, circulatory collapse, loss of consciousness, coma, and even death may occur.

Percocet Addiction and Abuse

Tolerance, dependence, abuse, and addiction are not uncommon in patients taking Percocet for pain management or abusers using the drug for recreation. Signs and symptoms of Percocet addiction include constant cravings for the drug, spending much time trying to access it, difficulty controlling its use, and experiencing harmful effects and behaviors resulting from using Percocet.

Percocet Withdrawal

People dependent or addicted to Percocet may experience opioid withdrawal syndrome when they stop taking the drug. The severity of the symptoms depends on several factors and varies for each individual. Symptoms include:

ChillsBack and joint pain
AbdominalCramps Nausea
VomitingIrritability and anxiety
Increased blood pressureIncreased heart rate
Increased respiratory rate

Medically supervised Percocet detox in an outpatient facility can be an effective and safe way to treat Percocet withdrawal.

Percocet Detox and Recovery

Percocet detox can be challenging, both mentally and physically. During detox at Holy Land Rehab, the drug will be cleared from your system safely and comfortably. You will continue the recovery process through our rehabilitation program, which is personalized to your needs. Our relapse prevention services are also recommended to help you stay Percocet-free. If you have any questions about Percocet detox and recovery, call our 24-Hour Toll-Free Addiction Helpline at 888-446-5952.

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