Percocet is a brand name for an opioid pain killer that combines oxycodone with paracetamol. This is a powerful drug that is meant to treat moderate to severe short-term pain. While a highly effective pain killer, Percocet – and all other opioids – are incredibly addictive. Abusing Percocet can lead to many dangers and side effects.
It’s a substantiated fact that Percocet is highly addictive. For this reason, it’s only prescribed when a non-opioid pain-relieving medication isn’t enough. Typically, Percocet is prescribed in moderate amounts, so the individual doesn’t have some medication leftover to take recreationally. An individual can overdose on Percocet if they take more than the recommended amount or crush or chew the tablets.
Side Effects of Abusing Percocet
Percocet can have some short-term and long-term side effects if taken frequently, including:
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Jaundice (yellow skin)
- Slowed heartbeat
- Extreme fatigue
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
- Immune suppression
- Psychological changes in the brain
Dangers of Abusing Percocet
Percocet is a potent and lethal drug. The dangers of abusing Percocet include:
- Taking more than the recommended dose of Percocet may result in an addiction
- An overdose of Percocet can result in death
- If a mother takes Percocet during her pregnancy, it may result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the child
- Percocet slows a person’s breathing, so it can lead to choking
- If you combine Percocet with alcohol or other drugs that slow your breathing, it can be fatal
America’s Opioid Addiction
Prescription drugs like Percocet may seem safe because a doctor prescribes them. However, Percocet is still a type of opioid, and similar to heroin, it can lead to severe addiction. When a person takes Percocet, the reward center of the brain is triggered. This results in intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Unfortunately, tolerance to Percocet builds up quickly. So, if a person wants to experience that same intense pleasure, they need to take higher and higher doses. This quickly leads to a physical and mental dependence on the drug.
A Percocet addiction can have long-term negative consequences on a person’s physical and mental health.
The United States has been fighting the opioid epidemic since the late 1990s, when doctors started to prescribe opioids for pain management. Pharmaceutical companies, such as Purdue, began heavy marketing campaigns to physicians about the benefits of opioid painkillers. Many doctors were led to believe that the risk of addiction wasn’t high. As a result, opioids were prescribed freely, and the epidemic began.
Since 1999, the number of national overdose deaths involving any opioid (illicit or prescription) has been steadily rising. From 1999-2017, there were a total of 399,230 opioid overdose deaths. In 2017 alone, 47,6000 overdose deaths involved opioids. And in 2019, over 70% of the 70,630 overdose deaths in the country involved an opioid. The CDC estimates that 136 people die every day from an opioid overdose.
Signs of a Percocet Addiction
If a person is taking Percocet, they should understand the potential dangers of addiction and only take the prescribed amounts. It’s also helpful to recognize the signs of a Percocet addiction so immediate action can be taken if addiction develops. The common signs are:
- An inability to stop taking the drug
- Increased tolerance
- Withdrawn behavior and changes in personality
- Obsessive thoughts about the drug
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Feeling Percocet is required for everyday functioning
- Excessive sweating
- Sexual dysfunction
- Avoiding activities so you can take Percocet instead
Once a person’s Percocet prescription runs out, it’ll become challenging to get more tablets. An addicted individual may turn to raid their friends and family’s cabinets, try to lie to their doctor, find a corrupt doctor to prescribe more, or buy more off the streets. All of these are high-risk behaviors that can result in prison time or the person taking tainted drugs.
It might seem strange, but Percocet addiction often relies on prescription medication in the first stage. A professional facility will provide monitored doses of prescription drugs to help the individual slowly ween their body off of Percocet. This will also help to downgrade the severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
After a successful detox, the patient will go through treatment programs to help them cope with their addiction.
As Percocet is so highly addictive, it’s highly recommended individuals don’t attempt to “DIY” their detox and treatment. A professional facility can offer patients the highest chance of a successful recovery, with medication management to reduce discomfort during withdrawal and 24/7 monitoring in the event of a medical emergency.
California Rehab Campus
California Rehab Campus is an upscale addiction treatment center offering customized programs, full amenities, and immediate help for patients. We focus on evidence-backed treatment and accept most insurance providers.