Everlast Recovery Centers

Percocet Addiction

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Is Percocet Addictive?

Percocet is a narcotic pain reliever that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen.1 The combination of the two medications helps to reduce pain as well as reduce fever.2 This drug can be an effective pain reliever after surgery or a traumatic injury. However, when taken for other reasons, like to get high, it can be addictive.

An estimated 20.5 million Americans struggled with a substance use disorder in 2015, and 2 million of those struggled with addiction to prescription pain medications.3

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How is it Used?

Percocet is available via prescription in pill and liquid forms. However, some people abuse the drug by crushing it and snorting it or liquefying it and injecting it. Using the drug in this way can be very dangerous.

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Street Names

Street names of Percocet include:

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Hillbilly heroin

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O.C.

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Oxycet

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Oxycotton

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Percs

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Percocet’s Drug Class

It is a narcotic pain reliever. When taken, the medicine acts on opioid receptors in the brain to block pain signals. However, it also has other effects on the body. These include slowed breathing and overall response times in the body.

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Where is Percocet on the Drug Schedule?

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) places drugs in “schedules.” Where a drug is on the schedule can show how addictive, dangerous, or the medical usefulness of the drug. For example, schedule I drugs don’t have any medical use and include heroin and ecstasy.4

Percocet is a Schedule II substance along with other narcotics like hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and fentanyl.4 This means that the medication has a medical purpose, such as relieving pain, but also has a high potential for abuse.

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Is Percocet Safe?

It is safe when taken as the doctor has instructed. It’s also important to tell the doctor about other medicines you may be taking, such as benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium. This is because other medications could negatively interact with Percocet. Drinking alcohol with this drug, taking more than prescribed, or taking it in ways other than prescribed, like snorting or injecting it, is considered substance abuse and increases the risk of negative side effects or overdose.

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Effects and Overdose

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What are the Short-Term Effects of Percocet?

Short-term effects include:

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Pain relief

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Euphoria 

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Dizziness

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Nausea 

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Blurred vision

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Dry mouth

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It can also increase the risk of falls and accidents.

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Long-Term Effects

The long-term effects of Percocet abuse depend upon how the drug is being abused. For example, people who inject it are at greater risk for injection-related illnesses, such as hepatitis and HIV.

When large amounts of this drug are taken, there is a greater risk of liver damage. This is because the acetaminophen ingredient can be toxic to the liver, which is responsible for filtering acetaminophen. People who take Percocet long-term are also at increased risk for respiratory infections.

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Can You Overdose on Percocet?

Yes, you can overdose on this drug. If too much is taken, the medication can signal the brain to stop breathing. Lack of oxygen to the brain and body can lead to death.

An estimated 20,101 overdose deaths in 2015 were related to prescription pain relievers.3

Some people also report very strong cravings for the drug, which may be hard to overcome alone when going through withdrawals. This is why medical supervision is typically recommended throughout the recovery process.

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How Do I Stop Using Percocet?

If you’re ready to stop using Percocet, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can recommend a professional rehabilitation facility, treatment programs, and support groups that can help with recovery from substance abuse.

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What is Withdrawal From Percocet Like?

Withdrawal isn’t deadly, but it isn’t easy either. Some examples of withdrawal symptoms include:

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Anxiety

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Diarrhea

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Muscle aches

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Nausea

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Problems sleeping

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Restlessness

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Sweating

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Treatment for Percocet Addiction

Treatments for Percocet addiction include therapy and medication programs. The FDA has approved medications to help overcome addiction to the drug. Examples include methadone and Suboxone. A doctor can determine if these options may help you.

Treatment can support your recovery from substance abuse. Reach out to Everlast Recovery to find out what options may work best for you.

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Resources

  1. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7277/percocet-oral/details
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/percocet-addiction
  3. https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf
  4. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/

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