Percocet Addiction, Abuse, and Treatment

Percocet is a commonly abused prescription painkiller that provides a sense of euphoria similar to heroin in high enough doses.

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    Percocet Defined

    Percocet addiction is very serious and should be treated immediately. Percocet is a prescription painkiller that contains a combination of oxycodone (a semi-synthetic opiate) and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). Percocet provides immediate relief for moderate to severe pain and lasts up to 5 hours. OxyContin, another oxycodone-based painkiller can provide relief up to 12 hours, due to its time-release properties.

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    Percocet Abuse and Addiction

    Percocet is a strong pain reliever often prescribed for intense, short-term pain felt after surgery or trauma. Percocet is often seen as a safer way to get high because it is legal to purchase (it is available with a prescription). It also runs a lower risk of addiction than other opiates, such as OxyContin, heroin or morphine.

    However, Percocet is still widely abused for its narcotic effect. A high enough dose can result in a sense of euphoria similar to that experienced by heroin users. Abuse of Percocet can lead to addiction to Percocet or to something harder.

    Effects of a Percocet Addiction

    Like other opiates, Percocet runs a high risk for users to develop a tolerance and then dependency on the drug.

    Because Percocet is usually prescribed on a short-term basis, an addicted person may eventually resort to illegal means to feed their habit. An addiction to Percocet can result in risky behavior, including:

    • Seeking out drug dealers
    • Using a fake prescription
    • Stealing
    • Seeing multiple doctors

    Because of the oxycodone in Percocet, there are numerous potential side effects tied to abuse of the drug. The most commonly recorded physical side effects of Percocet include:

    • Fatigue
    • Anxiety
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Headache
    • Memory loss
    • Dizziness

    Percocet Statistics



    Emergency room visits involving painkillers (including Percocet), increased by 152% between 2004 and 2008.



    Prescription opioids are the most common substance involved in drug-related medical emergencies. In 2013, 46% of drug-related medical emergencies involved opioids.



    Of the estimated 78,000 worldwide deaths in 2010 due to illegal drug use, more than half were because of painkiller addictions.

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      Percocet Treatment

      As with any opiate addiction, treating a Percocet addiction can be difficult—but there are many options. Percocet rehabilitation is similar to that for other prescription opiates, such as OxyContin or morphine.

      The most effective known treatment includes a medical detox, an isolated recovery environment and follow up with long-term support.

      The detox is often the most physically difficult step in the process, as withdrawal symptoms from Percocet can be intense. Many recovering addicts cite muscle aches and insomnia as the most difficult symptoms they face. Undergoing detox with a medical professional can help ease the process. Pharmaceutical aids such as Clonidine and Naloxone may be used in conjunction with therapy to help wean an addict off of Percocet.

      Once a former addict is ready to reintegrate into society, he or she can find continuing support groups through outpatient treatment at one of the many successful treatment centers across the country.

      Take control of your addiction. There’s never been a better time to get started. Contact a dedicated treatment professional now for more information about rehab for a Percocet addiction.

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