Crisis Intervention Services
At Free by the Sea, located in the State of Washington, professional counselors and associate staff members provide assistance for individuals struggling with a variety of drug addictions.
Serving the Nation, based in the Pacific Northwest.
Percocet is an opiate prescription drug that’s typically used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Percocet is also prescribed to those who suffer from chronic pains. When used correctly and as instructed, this drug can be very effective in relieving pain and aiding those before or after surgery. However, Percocet has a high risk of being abused recreationally (or misused). Unfortunately, Percocet abuse is more common than you’d think; it’s one of the most abused prescription drugs on the market today.
The abuse of Percocet can lead to several intense and unforeseen effects on a person’s body and mind. Along with the number of side effects that come with abusing Percocet, is a risk of Percocet overdose (if abused at a large dosage); it can lead to death if medical assistance is not contacted immediately. In the case of a Percocet overdose, call 9-11 immediately.
Addiction can be a terrible situation for the person and everyone around them. Prescription drug addictions can evolve into a dangerous cycle of using and trying to get more of the drug. It is also not uncommon for opiates like Percocet to change how a person thinks and behaves. If you or a loved one is dealing with Percocet abuse or addiction, Free by the Sea may be able to help.
What is Percocet?
Percocet is an opiate drug that’s used to treat cases of chronic pain and pain relief. Inside this drug is oxycodone hydrochloride; this influences how the brain reacts to pain. Percocet also has acetaminophen, which creates pain-related d chemicals in the brain. When used properly and as prescribed, Percocet can help relieve moderate to severe cases of pain.
Percocet relieves pain and can last up to 3-5 hours or so. This drug should be used as instructed by a medical doctor (as well as the amount and period of time set by the doctor). Unfortunately, though, people may abuse Percocet and end up falling into physical dependency.
The Prevalence of Percocet Abuse
As mentioned, Percocet is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the U.S. Prescription painkiller abuse, in particular, has become a widespread issue over the past few years. Millions of people have fallen into prescription drug use and the numbers only continue to rise. Some people abuse Percocet because of its narcotic effects.
The euphoric high that comes from Percocet abuse has been compared to the same high a person gets from heroin. Eventually, this abuse can become a much bigger problem, more specifically, addiction. Opioids in general are known to be highly addictive, so it’s important to always take them as instructed.
The Side Effects and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse
When a prescription drug like Percocet is abused over a period of time, their body and behavior will begin to show it. There are many different negative effects that affect a person’s entire life if left untreated. It’s important to recognize both the short and long-term effects of Percocet on yourself or a loved one. The use of this drug can cause several side effects. Some of the short term physical side effects of Percocet include the following:
- Memory loss
- Abdominal pains
Along with this, there are several severe side effects that may occur over time. If you notice any of these symptoms it may indicate an allergic reaction to the medication. If chest pains or seizures appear, get medical help immediately. Severe side effects of Percocet abuse including the following:
- Intense fatigue
- Chest pains
- Lightheaded and faint
- Yellowing of the skin (Jaundice)
- Urination problems (dark urine)
- Anxiety, nervousness, or irritable
- Confusion or unnatural thoughts/behaviors
- Gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea, vomiting, or lack of appetite)
As with all types of drugs, mixing Percocet with other drugs or alcohol can create dangerous and intense side effects. You should never mix Percocet with drugs or alcohol under any circumstance. Permanent physical damage or even death can occur over time if you frequently abuse and mix substances.
Long-Term Effects of Percocet Abuse
A person’s body can begin to experience serious damage if a person continues to abuse Percocet over a long period of time. Percocet abuse can end up causing permanent damage and other serious health issues. This is why it is crucial to get proper help before it’s too late. Long-term effects of Percocet abuse may include:
- Liver disease
- Urinary retention
- Severe constipation
- Decrease testosterone levels (in men)
- Physical and psychological dependence on Percocet
- Shifts in behavior (isolation, withdrawn behavior, depression, etc.)
- Tolerance (needing a higher dose to reach desired effects of Percocet)
The Behavioral Signs of Percocet Abuse
Since Percocet is usually perceived on a short-term basis, a person who’s addicted may go to risky lengths to obtain more of the drug. Unfortunately, becoming dependent on a drug can completely change a person’s outlook on their drug use as a necessity. A person may attempt to get more Percocet by:
- Searching for drug dealers on the streets
- Stealing from friends or loved ones
- Seeking out multiple doctors for a precipitation
- Using fake prescriptions
Other general signs may indicate Percocet abuse within a loved one or friend. Over time, appearance and behavioral changes can begin to manifest due to a person’s constant drug use. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to look for comprehensive help. Behavioral changes may include:
- Worsened performance at school, work, or at home
- Dramatic changes in behavior (wanting privacy or isolation)
- Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy
- Spending a lot of time trying to acquire Percocet (or attempting to get a prescription)
- Bloodshot eyes, poor skin tone, or other appearance changes
- Defensive when confronting about Percocet abuse
- Stealing Percocet from friends or family
Over the years, the number of ER visits has skyrocketed for opioid misuse (mainly because of overprescribing practices). With this has come a surge of overdose-related deaths for perceived drugs like Percocet. Opioids in general, make up for a large number of drug overdoses. An overdose occurs when a person takes too much of a particular drug and experiences intense and dangerous side effects. Overdose is a medical emergency, dial 9-11 immediately if you notice any of these signs:
- Cold/clammy skin
- Respiratory depression
- Blueish color in nails or lips
- Constricted pupils
- Slowed heart rate
In cases of a Percocet overdose, emergency treatment may be able to temporarily reverse a Percocet overdose. If an individual experiencing overdose receives medical attention in a timely manner, this may help to prevent any fatal consequences.
Percocet Abuse and Addiction Treatment Options
When a person has become dependent on a drug and is unable to recognize the harm it’s causing – it is time to get proper help Many people may not realize the dangers and harms associated with continued drug use. Fortunately, it is never too late to get comprehensive treatment.
One of the things to keep in mind when getting treatment is some of the withdrawal symptoms of stopping Percocet use. Withdrawal occurs when a person quits using a drug; if they have become dependent on it, their body will experience withdrawal symptoms. These can be mild to severe is discomfort and include:
- Cold sweats
- Upset stomach
- Cravings or urges to use
- Mood swings
- Unable to concentrate or focus
- Muscular or joint pains
- Vomiting or nausea
Most of the withdrawal symptoms associated with Percocet are mainly physical however there may be a few psychological effects. Typically the first stage of overcoming Percocet abuse and addiction is detox. Medical detox is a process that helps rid the body of toxic substances (in this case, Percocet). Throughout this stage, a person may also be given medication to help relieve some of the stressful withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, a person moves into more specialized and personalized treatment through several types of therapy and support. Medication can also be used to help relieve cravings and urges to use before and after detox. A person will most likely move onto residential or outpatient treatment. Both allow for comprehensive care and treatment through various types of therapy.
At Free by the Sea, our staff of experienced and passionate therapists is ready to help you overcome the waves of addiction. We offer:
- Evidence-based Individual and group therapy personalized for you
- Countless addiction resources for you and your family
- A clean, comfortable, and supportive environment
- Dual diagnosis treatment among many other treatment options
- Inpatient, outpatient, and IOP treatment options for all your needs.
How Free by the Sea Can Help
Percocet abuse can be a dangerous and bumpy road for everyone involved. If you are concerned that you or a loved one has fallen victim to addiction, Free by the Sea is here to help. You are not alone in your struggles and there is still hope at the end of the tunnel. Contact us today to learn about all of our treatment options and addiction resources with you in mind.