What is Percocet?
Percocet is a prescription painkiller that is made up of:
- Oxycodone – an opioid analgesic that has similar effects such as those of morphine and heroin.
- Acetaminophen – Tylenol’s active ingredient, which helps reduce fever and acts as a mild painkiller.
What is Percocet Prescribed for?
Doctors prescribe Percocet to help with moderate to severe pain that’s not chronic in nature (pain from an injury or post-surgery), as well as a short-term pain reliever. Same as morphine and heroin, Percocet changes the way our brain and central nervous system receive and perceive pain.
Percocet initiates a few chemical events one after the other that, which eventually:
- Modify the way our brain perceives pain.
- Induce a dopamine response in some of the key regions of our brain.
When a person takes a dose that’s larger than the one prescribed, Percocet can lead to a “high” that’s similar to the one of heroin, and can be characterized by: euphoria, increased pleasure and a feeling of total relaxation.
How can Percocet be Abused?
The euphoric effect that is caused by its main ingredient – oxycodone can often lead to Percocet abuse. Another way people abuse Percocet is they combine it with other substances, like mixing it with alcohol, which leads to an additive effect for both the alcohol and the drug. Percocet is not for recreational use, and can quickly become very dangerous and even deadly.
People abuse Percocet by:
- taking more than the prescribed dosage
- taking it longer than the doctor prescribed
- snorting, smoking, chewing or injecting Percocet
When you use Percocet in any other way than orally it no longer has a controlled release and distribution to the body. That’s why when using it in such ways, its effects include a euphoric high. Addicts are familiar with its effects and consciously abuse it, just so they can feel the high faster and more intensely.
Percocet Uses and Side Effects
Each prescription drug comes with some risks and possible side effects, and so does Percocet. Some of those are:
- anxiety and mood swings
- a feeling of tightness in your chest
- constipation and difficulty urinating
- rashes and itching
- slowed, burdened breathing
- vomiting and nausea
Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
Percocet actually alters our brain functions so when taken in uncontrolled amounts, it can create extreme euphoria and can trigger an addiction.
It is often hard to pinpoint the moment when Percocet’s normal use develops into an addiction. However, it’s important that you take any pain medication with precaution and do not abuse it. If a person chews, injects crushes, snorts, or takes Percocet more often than they should, or in higher doses than the recommended ones, this means they are abusing Percocet.
Here are some of the other common signs of Percocet addiction that you need to look out for:
- continuing to take the drug although it has negative consequences on your school or work life
- having a consistently strong craving for Percocet
- getting or writing fake Percocet prescriptions, and committing fraud
- losing control over your Percocet abuse problem
- showing secretive behavior
- increasing your Percocet doses, and taking it more often than prescribed
- combining Percocet with other drugs and opioids
Percocet Addiction Treatment
Percocet addiction is treatable. It’s up to you to be strong and seek proper help for your addiction. The treatment will help you get to the root of your prescription drug addiction, and obtain new ways of coping and handling everyday life struggles. The earlier you intervene, and take things in control, the better are your chances of becoming free from your addiction. Percocet addiction treatments usually consists of:
- Supervision by a certified professional especially during Percocet withdrawal
- Individual, group or family therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Psychological support
The first step of the treatment for Percocet addiction is to get oxycodone out of your system. The only way to do that is by detoxing your body. This is when you’ll feel the hardest and most uncomfortable Percocet withdrawal symptoms. You don’t need to do this all by yourself. Detox can be done with medical supervision, where patients can gradually get Percocet out of their body. This process can sometimes last up to a few weeks.
If you quit using Percocet suddenly you will experience more difficult and unpleasant symptoms than you would if you were to do it gradually.
When you attempt to get over your Percocet addiction, you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- heart palpitations and an increased heart rate
- flushed skin
- tingling and numbness of the limbs
- restlessness and irritation
There are ways you can use to ease your discomfort and pain and treat Percocet withdrawal symptoms so that you do not feel the full effects of the withdrawal symptoms and minimize their intensity and length.