Treatment for Percocet Abuse

Percocet is the brand name of a prescription medication that contains oxycodone and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is a semisynthetic opioid that is also marketed as the prescription painkiller OxyContin. Acetaminophen is an analgesic that reduces fever and is present in many over-the-counter medications. The combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen allows Percocet to treat moderate to severe pain. When a person takes Percocet, the oxycodone interacts with receptors in the central nervous system to alleviate pain and elicits a sense of relaxed euphoria. Both ingredients in Percocet can be dangerous, though. Oxycodone can suppress heart rate and respiration, and is also highly addictive, while the misuse or abuse of acetaminophen can lead to liver failure.

When used appropriately under the supervision of an authorized prescribing physician, Percocet can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals who are experiencing certain types of pain. However, the drug’s pleasurable effects make Percocet a prime target for individuals who are looking for a recreational high, as well as those who are attempting to self-medicate. Regardless of why a person begins to take Percocet, he or she risks several negative outcomes, including adverse reactions and dependence. Without proper professional treatment, an addiction to Percocet or other substances that contain opioids can be extremely difficult to overcome. However, with effective comprehensive care, individuals can overcome their compulsion to abuse Percocet and can learn how to live healthier drug-free lives.

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Statistics

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), about 0.37 percent of the adult population in the United States will develop opioid use disorder, the category that includes dependence upon Percocet, in a typical year. Women are more likely than men to develop dependence upon prescription medications that contain opioids, with the DSM-5 reporting an annual female-to-male ratio of prescription opioid use dependence of about 1.5 to 1. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has reported that the annual number of deaths in the United States that result from prescription opioid overdose increased by more than 300 percent in the 20-year period from 1990 to 2010. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that, in the first decade of the 21st century, the annual number of prescription opioid overdose deaths increased by 265 percent among men and 400 percent among women.

Causes and Risk Factors for Percocet Abuse

Several factors can influence whether or not a person will be at increased risk for abusing or becoming addicted to Percocet:

Genetic: The American Psychiatric Association (APA) reports that genetic factors can have a significant direct and indirect influence over the development of an opioid use disorder involving Percocet. The APA has identified certain heritable personality traits, including impulsiveness and novelty-seeking, as genetic factors that can increase a person’s risk for becoming addicted to Percocet.

Risk Factors:

  • Gender (women are at increased risk for Percocet dependence)
  • Experiencing pain that is treated with Percocet
  • Family history of substance use disorders
  • Access to Percocet
  • Impulsivity
  • Novelty seeking

Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse

No single sign or set of symptoms can be taken as undeniable proof that a person has been abusing or has become addicted to Percocet, but the following are among the more common indicators that a person may have a problem with this potentially dangerous medication:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Trying but failing to reduce the amount or frequency of one’s Percocet use
  • Taking Percocet in greater quantities or for a longer period of time than intended
  • Using Percocet when it is obviously dangerous to do so, such as immediately prior to operating a motor vehicle
  • Visiting a variety doctors in an attempt to get multiple prescriptions for Percocet
  • Borrowing or stealing Percocet that has been prescribed to someone else
  • Borrowing or stealing money to fund one’s Percocet addiction
  • Continuing to abuse Percocet even after experiencing negative effects as a result of prior use

Physical symptoms:

  • Slurring speech
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Impaired coordination and balance
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Constipation
  • Withdrawal symptoms in absence of Percocet

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Problems with focus or concentration
  • Impaired memory
  • Poor judgment
  • Powerful cravings for Percocet

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Aggression
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Emotional withdrawal
If you feel that you are in crisis, or are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others, please call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Effects of Percocet Abuse

Without proper professional care, a person who continues to engage in Percocet abuse may experience a wide range of negative effects, including the following:

  • Vision problems
  • Damage to heart and lungs
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Onset or exacerbation of co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Physical harm while under the influence of Percocet
  • Diminished academic performance
  • Academic failure
  • Substandard occupational performance
  • Job loss
  • Chronic unemployment
  • Financial problems
  • Family discord
  • Arrest and incarceration
  • Suicidal ideation and attempts
  • Overdose
  • Death

Co-Occurring Disorders

Individuals who developed an opioid use disorder involving Percocet may also be at increased risk for the following co-occurring mental health disorders:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Effects of Percocet withdrawal: When a person’s body has adapted to the presence of Percocet, stopping or reducing one’s use of this medication can trigger several unpleasant symptoms, including the following:

  • Intense cravings for Percocet
  • Dysphoria
  • Watery eyes and/or runny nose
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Pupillary dilation
  • Tremors and twitching
  • Heavy sweating
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia

Effects of Percocet overdose: Both ingredients in Percocet, oxycodone and acetaminophen, can cause serious negative effects when a person overdoses on the drug. Anyone who exhibits the following symptoms after ingesting Percocet may be in need of immediate medical attention:

  • Slurring speech
  • Impaired memory
  • Faint heartbeat
  • Shallow or dangerously slow breathing
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or stomach pains
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma

Why Consider Treatment for Percocet Abuse

Every time a person abuses Percocet, he or she risks both immediate and long-term damage. The longer the person continues to abuse Percocet, the likelihood that he or she will suffer negative effects increases, as does the potential severity of those effects. Depending upon the amount of Percocet that a person takes, even one-time abuse can be fatal. For those who survive, ongoing Percocet abuse can lead to several serious physical problems, including vision problems, muscle weakness, reduced heart rate, depressed respiration, and liver failure. Cognitive impairments such as memory problems and diminished capacity to focus or concentrate can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s ability to perform satisfactorily at work or in school, which can lead to academic failure, job loss, unemployment, and difficulties finding and maintaining another job. Family discord, disrupted interpersonal relationships, financial distress, arrest and incarceration, and social withdrawal are hardly uncommon experiences among individuals who have descended into chronic abuse of Percocet and other opioid-based prescription medications.

But it does not have to be this way.

At the Sober Living by the Sea treatment network, we understand the many ways that Percocet abuse can undermine a person’s efforts to live a healthy and productive life. At The Landing, The Rose, and Sunrise Recovery Ranch, men and women whose lives have been upended by Percocet abuse and dependence can take their first steps toward a healthier and more satisfying future, free from the constraints and limitations of Percocet abuse. Our combination of specialized programming, personalized care, and dedicated treatment professionals has allowed us to help many men and women overcome their dependence upon Percocet and other opioids.

get confidential help now: (949) 612-2210 or schedule a free, confidential evaluation at our program Email Us