Percocet is a prescription pain medication and controlled substance that has the potential for abuse. The medication is a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, a narcotic. The acetaminophen present works to enhance the effects of the oxycodone.
While doctors prescribe the medication to treat pain, this drug is also sold on the street as a medication that can make a person feel high or euphoric. People can experience a Percocet addiction due to the way it makes them feel.
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Those with a Percocet addiction may crush the pills and snort or sniff them. If this occurs, the medication can feel as strong as heroin. Others experience an addiction because they received a prescription for the medication and its extended use caused them to experience changes in the brain that lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings if a person stops taking the drug. Percocet addiction can happen to those of all ages and backgrounds.
Drugs that are similar to this drug include Roxicet, OxyContin and Roxicodone. Street names for Percocet include Blue, hillbilly heroin, Killers, Ocs, poor man's heroin, white collar heroin, OX and Perc.
Symptoms that may signal a person is addicted to this drug include:
Health effects associated with prescription drug abuse include the potential for overdose. This can lead to respiratory arrest, which causes a person to stop breathing and possibly even die. Other long-term health complications include kidney disease, liver disease, heart attack and seizures. If a person shares needles to inject this drug, this puts the person at risk for HIV, hepatitis and infections of the circulatory system.
Withdrawal symptoms can typically begin within several hours after stopping taking the medication and can worsen in the days after withdrawal. The symptoms will not usually last longer than two weeks.
Percocet withdrawal symptoms include:
This drug can be so addictive that it is extremely difficult to beat without the intervention of a residential treatment facility or outpatient treatment program. While the FDA has not approved medications to treat Percocet addiction, a residential treatment facility can create a tapering plan to help a person slowly withdraw from this drug instead of withdrawing "cold turkey."
However, some people choose to withdraw from the medication rapidly. A drug treatment facility can provide care and support to a person undergoing these withdrawals. In addition to the medical detoxification process, treatments are also focused on helping a person resist the urges to return to prescription drug abuse after returning to everyday life. Examples include education, counseling, group therapy, individual therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.