Percocet is a synthetic opioid pain killer prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. It contains both oxycodone, an opioid, and acetaminophen, a non-opioid pain killer and fever reducer. So what does Percocet do exactly? As prescribed, it is intended to help with pain caused by injury or associated with medical conditions. However, its ability to induce a sense of euphoria and relaxation in users, along with its widespread availability, makes Percocet addiction and abuse is a common problem.
Percocet is an opiate that is less powerful but more readily available than drugs such as heroin. Many heroin users report taking a prescription painkiller before turning to heroin, and Percocet can be considered a gateway drug to harder opiates. Because of the drug’s high acetaminophen formulation, combining Percocet and alcohol may cause liver damage.
Percocet is available in tablet form and is usually ingested. Percocet tablets come in different colors and shapes according to their dosage, with pink, blue, peach and white tablets available for legally prescribed tablets. Illicit Percocet tablets may be available in different colors or shapes.
Misuse, addiction and criminal diversion of Percocet are common, with addicted users often seeking to source the drug via multiple prescriptions, from pharmacies or on the street.
Percocet is widely abused and is known by a number of street names. These include:
- Blue Dynamite
Percocet is a semi-synthetic opioid containing oxycodone and acetaminophen, and is a Schedule II controlled substance considered at high-risk of causing psychological addiction and moderate risk of physical addiction. Percocet falls under FDA pregnancy category C.
It is not known whether taking the drug during pregnancy may harm an unborn fetus. However, breast-feeding while taking Percocet may harm an infant.
History and Trends in Percocet Addiction and Abuse
Percocet was approved for use in the US in 1976, although oxycodone has been used in the US as early as the 1930s. Restrictions on drugs into the formulation category into which Percocet falls – i.e. those containing a mix of oxycodone and acetaminophen – were put in place by the government in 2009. Even so, Percocet remains widely prescribed and used, both according to medical advice and illicitly.
Like many prescription opioids, Percocet is at risk of abuse by teens and youth who may be wondering “what does Percocet do?” The drug’s availability, along with the perception of safety around prescription drugs may make youths more inclined to try Percocet.
Side effects of Percocet
Common side effects of Percocet include a sense of euphoria and relaxation, along with drowsiness. Blurred vision and gastrointestinal issues are also common. Less common side effects include a slow heartbeat, seizures, urination problems, jaundice and nausea.
Because Percocet contains acetaminophen, users are at risk of liver damage if the product is taken incorrectly or in tandem with other medications that may have an impact upon the liver. Percocet may also cause breathing problems, especially in older adults, or those with a history of respiratory issues or an otherwise compromised immune system. It may also cause breathing problems or withdrawal symptoms in infants whose mothers have taken the drug during pregnancy.
Percocet overdoses are possible and may prove fatal. Symptoms of a Percocet overdose include nausea, weakness, stomach pain, sweating and confusion. These may be followed by stomach pain, urinary problems, and jaundice. In severe instances, overdoses may result in an individual becoming comatose.
Percocet and alcohol should not be mixed, as doing so may increase the risk of liver damage.
Withdrawal symptoms of Percocet
As with any opioid, the sudden stoppage of Percocet may induce withdrawal symptoms. These include chills and fever, heart and breathing issues, agitation, nausea and gastrointestinal issues and muscular pain. Dangerous withdrawal symptoms may also manifest in infants of mothers with a Percocet addiction.
Treatment for Percocet Addiction and Abuse
Percocet abuse may lead to the use of harder opiates and can damage an individual’s health and ability to lead a normal life. Attempting to break a Percocet addiction without help can be challenging, especially given the unpleasantness of withdrawal symptoms.
An in-house detoxification program can help by providing a safe space, removing the individual from the habits and routines they associate with their drug use and helping them to manage their withdrawal symptoms. Counseling sessions may also help individuals come to terms with the underlying causes behind their addiction.
If you or someone you know is dealing with a Percocet addiction, speak to our addiction specialists at White Sands Tampa about our Percocet treatment programs. Don’t wait, call now. 1-877-640-7820.