Percocet Addiction Treatment, Effects & SympToms

Percocet is a prescription pain medication with a high likelihood of resulting in addiction – even with responsible use. It is a highly potent opioid that can lead to a number of issues such as liver damage, heart disruption, and gastrointestinal distress.

Introduction to Percocet

Percocet is an opioid analgesic – a prescription painkiller used to treat sudden, intense pain. It is made of a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone – the latter ingredient is responsible for the majority of this medication’s functions, side effects, and addictiveness. The DEA has classified Percocet as a Schedule II drug which includes the likes of cocaine and methamphetamine. There is a high likelihood of developing physical and psychological dependence even when the medication is taken as prescribed.

How Does It Work?

The bulk of Percocet’s functionality is derived from oxycodone, its opioid component, and primarily affects the central nervous system. Oxycodone is a mild sedative that works by releasing endorphins which bind to pain receptors. This prevents these receptors from recognizing pain and can cause feelings of euphoria followed by intense relaxation. 

Percocet is a depressant, affecting respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal functions. It can also slow metabolism, leading to a higher potential risk of causing build-up in the system. 

Percocet Side Effects

Percocet is very similar to Vicodin, another popular and well-known prescription pain killer, in function, potency, and purpose. The primary differences between the two are the ingredients and a slight difference in side effects. 

Short-Term Side Effects

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heartbeat
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings
  • Itchy red eyes
  • Flushing
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty urinating

Long-Term Side Effects

  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Respiratory arrest or apnea
  • Liver damage

The Best Treatment for a Percocet Addiction

Percocet is a key player involved in the ongoing opioid crisis which is estimated to affect over a million people each year.  Like any other opioid addiction, a Percocet addiction can be dangerous and cause permanent (or even fatal) damage to the brain and internal organs. The withdrawal process itself poses risk to Percocet abusers who can experience symptoms as soon as 5 hours after their last dose.

A Percocet withdrawal can take up to two weeks or more, with the most intense symptoms such as tremors, severe aches, vomiting, and cramping, occurring between the 48-72 hour mark. Addiction facilities can help by providing relief through medical detox programs and behavioral therapy to address the cravings that persist. 

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