By: Lakeview Health
What Is a Percocet?
Percocet is an opioid painkiller that is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen and is used to help relieve moderate to severe pain. The oxycodone (opioid pain reliever) is often called a narcotic while the acetaminophen (non-opioid pain reliever) increases the effects of the oxycodone in Percocet.
Percocet is often prescribed for relief of pain experienced after surgery or to patients with severe chronic pain, they are only to be used for a short duration of time. When used long-term the effects of the drug become harder to obtain. This is because, as the body builds up a tolerance to the current dosage, more of the drug is needed to achieve the desired effect. Increasing a Percocet dosage can lead to dependency or even overdose.
What Does A Percocet High Feel Like?
There are many reasons that addiction happens. One of the most frequent reasons is the feeling people get from the medications they take. Pain medications, like Percocet, can make people feel “up” and slightly euphoric. A Percocet high, for example, is very common for those who take this medication. Since these medications are often prescribed for pain, some people take them without understanding the dangerous complications that could occur or the addiction potential that these drugs have.
Affects of Percocet
Opioids bind to and activate the opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system. Due to its addictive nature, increased Percocet use can cause long-term brain damage. The impact on the brain depends on the duration and amount of Percocet misuse.
Some of the long- term effects on the brain include:
- Opioid-induced hyperalgesia – Increased sensitivity to pain
- Frontal Lobe damage
- Impulse control issues
- Disrupted reward system
The long-term effects of a Percocet addiction on the brain worsen the longer the drug is abused and could lead to irreparable damage.
Are Percocet Addictive?
Percocet, like other opiates, presents a high risk of addiction. Patients may start developing a tolerance, which leads to needing higher dosages to achieve the required pain relief. Patients end up becoming dependent which could lead to addiction.
Some of the symptoms and signs of Percocet addiction include:
- Unable to feel emotions
A 2020 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that of the nearly 92,000 drug overdose deaths that occurred in the United States in that year, 75% involved an opioid.
Issues With Long Term Use of Percocet
Long-term Percocet dependency can cause:
- Decreased testosterone levels, impotence, and erectile dysfunction
- Prostate problems
- Respiratory depression
- Low blood pressure
Patients should not try to overcome a Percocet addiction by themselves. The possibility of having severe withdrawal symptoms is high and often leads to relapse or even overdose.
Percocet and Alcohol Use
Mixing alcohol with any medication is never advised, mixing Percocet with alcohol can be particularly dangerous. Combining alcohol with either oxycodone or acetaminophen individually can cause harmful symptoms, when taken together, the risks become even greater. Oxycodone, the addictive component of Percocet, and alcohol are central nervous system (CNS) depressants, which slow down brain activity. Combining oxycodone with even a small amount of alcohol can be harmful. The acetaminophen component of Percocet when combined with alcohol may result in acetaminophen-related liver damage.
Treatment for Percocet Addiction
Seeking help can feel daunting, but it’s important to remember that treatment is available. Patients may struggle to break away from a Percocet addiction and trying to detox alone could be life-threatening. Because of the potential for complications, it is key to work with a detox facility that offers 24/7 medical monitoring from trained and licensed staff.
At Lakeview Health, we strive to make sure patients at our men’s rehab center and women’s rehab center have the best chance of achieving lasting sobriety. Our approach to care is focused on the individual and we are committed to the well-being of our patients, even after they’ve left Lakeview Health. Some of our programs include:
- Residential treatment
- Inpatient services
- Medical detox
- Partial hospitalization
If you or a loved one need help overcoming a Percocet addiction, call Lakeview Health today at: 866.704.7692.