Percocet Abuse Effects, Signs & Symptoms

What is Percocet Abuse

Understanding Percocet Abuse

Percocet, which consists of oxycodone and acetaminophen, is a potent painkiller that’s given to individuals who require relief from severe pain. This opiate pain medication is much stronger than over-the-counter medications, and is typically prescribed with a warning that it should never be misused.

Percocet is classified in the same category of drugs as heroin, which means that it’s highly addictive and has a great potential to be abused because of the mind and mood-altering effects that it can produce if it’s ingested in an inappropriate manner. Despite the warnings that come with a prescription for Percocet, many individuals do abuse it, become dependent on this substance, and find it especially hard to stop taking it on their own. If you’re someone who is embattled with a Percocet abuse problem, then you’re likely aware of how destructive this medication can be. Regardless of whether you once received a prescription for this medication or if you came across it to abuse it recreationally on purpose, you probably know now that this drug is quite powerful, and presents a number of challenges if you’ve tried to end your addiction. However, even if you have begun to think that there’s no end in sight for your addiction to this painkiller, it’s pivotal to know that hope and help are just a phone call away. When you begin rehab services that address the complex nature of Percocet addiction, it’s very possible for you to leave the misuse of this painkiller in the past. Yes, with proper and effective treatment, as well as support from trained and caring professionals, you, too, can become sober and begin living the Percocet-free life you desire.


Statistics of Percocet Abuse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, have gone on record to state that the abuse of painkillers like Percocet affects more women than men. In fact, the overdose rate among genders shows that overdoses happen to more females than males, with an increase of 400% and 300% respectively. Additionally, the NIDA, or the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has stated that the amount of individuals in the United States who have lost their lives to the abuse of painkillers like Percocet has increased threefold since the early 1990s. Lastly, the American Psychiatric Association has reported that almost 0.5% of the total population struggles with the abuse of opioids like Percocet.

Causes of Percocet Abuse

What are the Causes of Percocet Abuse

As someone who abuses Percocet, you may be curious as to how this issue has come to impact your life. To answer someone of the questions that you may have about the causes and potential risk factors for Percocet abuse, researchers have concluded the following that may explain why some people misuse and become addicted to Percocet, while other do not:

Genetic: Researchers have spent a great deal of time searching for genetic influences that can make individuals susceptible to the abuse of Percocet and other drugs. What they found was that there are in fact gene clusters that can increase the chances of some people abusing substances. So, if you’re wondering if your addiction is partially caused by your genetic makeup, it could be wise to look into your own family history of substance abuse and/or addiction.  

Environmental: Those in recovery will tell you that they try to refrain from associating with others who abuse Percocet and other drugs. This is because the individuals you associate with can influence whether or not you may abuse a painkiller like Percocet. Along the same lines, if you are exposed to chronic stress, lack healthy coping skills, have inadequate support, and have easy access to Percocet, your risk for misuse of this medication goes up. These examples are but a handful of ways in which your environment can affect whether or not you are vulnerable to Percocet abuse.  

Risk Factors:

  • Having a family history of substance abuse and addiction
  • Prior substance abuse
  • Having a family history of mental illness
  • Possessing a novelty seeking personality
  • Personal history of mental illness
  • Being prescribed Percocet or otherwise having access to this medication
  • Having an impulsive temperament

Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse

Learn More About the Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse

Some individuals go to great lengths to conceal their abuse of Percocet, while others are so addicted to this painkiller that they are unable to mask the severity of their chemical dependency problem. In either case, the warning signs that this sort of issue is happening can be observed via the following symptoms that can vary in their type and harshness depending on how strong an addiction to Percocet is:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Abusing Percocet even after prior use has resulted in negative effects
  • Attempting but being incapable of reducing one’s Percocet use
  • Social withdrawal
  • Taking Percocet for a longer period of time than intended
  • Trying to steal Percocet
  • Abusing Percocet when it is clearly dangerous to do so
  • Taking Percocet in greater quantities

Physical symptoms:

  • Exhaustion
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Slurring speech
  • Weight changes
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using Percocet
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Breathing issues
  • Coordination problems

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Poor decision making
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to focus
  • Problems with memory

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Aggression

Effects of Percocet Abuse

Understanding the Effects of Percocet Abuse

In the absence of professional treatment, the consequences of abusing Percocet can be far-reaching and permanent if they are significant. Not only capable of affecting the user’s life, these effects can take a toll on friends and loved ones as well. Given this fact, it’s necessary to seek rehab services if you’re battling an addiction to this painkiller so that you can prevent the following from happening in your life:

  • Family discord
  • Eye problems
  • Job loss
  • Chronic unemployment
  • Lung damage
  • Development or exacerbation of co-occurring mental health problems
  • Financial ruin
  • Legal problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Homelessness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide attempts
  • Damage to heart
  • Strained relationships

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Learn More About the Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Effects of Percocet withdrawal: Experiencing withdrawal is a telltale sign that someone has become physically dependent on Percocet. Therefore, if you begin experiencing the following effects, you may be an excellent candidate for addiction treatment so that you can reclaim your life from the abuse of Percocet:

  • Runny nose
  • Pupillary dilation
  • Twitches and tremors
  • Excessive sweating
  • Watery eyes
  • Dysphoria
  • Powerful cravings for Percocet
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Elevated body temperature

Effects of Percocet overdose: In addition to the effects of Percocet abuse that can happen, overdose is a very real possibility for those who continue to abuse this drug without seeking help. Overcoming an addiction to Percocet via rehab services is a beneficial way to avoid an overdose, which can involve the following detrimental effects that may necessitate medical attention:

  • Coma
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Slurring speech
  • Shallow or labored breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory loss
  • Slowed heartbeat

Co-Occurring Disorders

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

When you seek out professional rehab services to overcome an addiction to Percocet, you’ll likely be assessed for the presence of any co-occurring mental health conditions. The reason for this is because it’s especially common for people to struggle with the abuse of Percocet and mental illnesses at the same time. So, as you embark on the road to recovery, know that you may be treated for one or more of the following co-occurring disorders simultaneously:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Other substance use disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

My addiction to opiates was ruining my life. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't stop. North Tampa took me in and gave me treatment. They gave me life. Another chance. Now I have a job again, and am working toward being the kind of person I want to be. Not just some addict.

– Anonymous Patient
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