Percocet Abuse and Addiction


Percocet Abuse and Addiction

Percocet is a narcotic painkiller and is a combination of both Oxycodone and Acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid pain reliever.

Oxycodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can reduce a fever; it is the less potent painkiller of the two. It is most often used to increase the effects of Oxycodone.


It is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that special laws and regulations control its sale and use. Schedule II controlled substances have the highest abuse potential of all legal prescription medications and is prescribed to treat moderate to severe short term pain.

Why Is Percocet Prescribed?

Percocet is prescribed to treat the symptoms of moderate to severe short term (acute) pain. Often times, it is prescribed for patients with bone injuries, dental procedures, and after surgery. It can also be prescribed for people going through a healing process. For example, a person who had a surgery to remove a cyst or abnormal growth on their skin.

These patients are often left stitched up or with open wounds stuffed with gauze and can incur a certain degree of pain while they are healing. The prescription of Percocet will allow for a more comfortable recovery as it also induces a feeling of calm and well-being along with pain relief. This is why this drug is most often abused.

Statistics Relating To Percocet

In recent years Percocet has been prescribed more often than Morphine because of its lower addiction rate. This medicine has proven very useful for patients suffering from acute pain that is not chronic or breakthrough. Percocet is a combination of Acetaminophen and Oxycodone. It is a semi-synthetic narcotic opioid and it is chemically related to Codeine. Oxycodone can also be effective at relieving cough as well as pain. Percocet will often cause drowsiness and decreased breathing if misused.

The Acetaminophen found in Percocet is a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in prescription medications such as Tylenol. Adding Acetaminophen to Oxycodone makes Percocet more effective at relieving pain and limits the abuse potential of Oxycodone; however this drug is commonly abused. People may become addicted to Percocet. Percocet is easily available and is relatively inexpensive in the generic form. Some people actually become addicted to this drug while others develop a physical dependence on it. Percocet can be obtained illegally from foreign countries or online sources that don't require a prescription. A person who abuses Percocet and stops using this drug abruptly will often experience withdrawal symptoms.

Percocet is abused in several ways. Commonly a person who is prescribed Percocet legitimately may develop a psychological dependence to this drug. They may also develop a tolerance for it causing them to take much more than the normal dose. In high doses, Percocet may cause a person to feel "high" or euphoric. It gives an abuser a drunk like feeling, and a sense of well-being, relaxation and calmness.

Percocet is a synthetic opioid drug and can give a similar effect to abusers as heroin. Severe abusers "freebase" or" chase" this drug by smoking the pills off of tinfoil. This gives abusers an intense high upon initial use. Percocet can be known as a gateway drug to heroin. Once an abuser gets used to the" high" from large doses of Percocet, it may be hard for them to get "high" by any other means.

This is why some turn to heron abuse. Also a person who wants to get high off this drug when they are not legitimately prescribed it may simply take high doses of Percocet in tablet form .They will become addicted to this drug and then need to take it in large amounts to get "high."

As with all medications, Percocet can cause many side effects. However not everyone who takes Percocet will experience them. In most cases side effects are minor and may include:

  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Euphoria
  • Itching

If the body becomes used to the effects of Percocet over a long period of time or if you stop taking it abruptly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Signs of Percocet withdrawal include sweating, vomiting, and agitation (among others). Fortunately, stopping Percocet is unlikely to lead to life-threatening symptoms.

Percocet Abuse Treatment Options

First, your health care provider will often provide you with some counseling as to how a person should seek treatment for Percocet abuse. He or she may start by having the patient taper off this drug by slowly decreasing their dose. This is done to decrease the shock to the body by suddenly stopping the use of this drug. Other means of treatment may include a medically supervised detox at a rehabilitation center and/or counseling and therapy at a behavioral health center.

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