Percocet Addiction

Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen) abuse and addiction

For the last 20 years, prescription drugs have increased at an alarming rate. The abuse of medications have also gone up. As of 2014, there were approximately 6.5 million people in the U.S. who were taking prescription medication for non-medical related issues.

That's 2.5% of the country's population. This involves opioid painkillers, stimulants and relaxants with Percocet being one of the main perpetrators. Percocet songs in mainstream music illustrate how lightly abusing this prescription drug is being taken. Despite the relaxed nature of Percocet abuse, there's a possibility of addiction and it can cause death.

Percocet is a medication for pain that contains oxycodone. It's a part of the opioid pain medication family that also contains acetaminophen.

While the acetaminophen is a far less potent pain reliever, it does aid in the effects of the oxycodone. Percocet, percs or perks pills are a drug that has seen a lot of abuse because of the oxycodone. It has similar effects to heroin and morphine, giving a person similar feelings when abused. Percocet is supposed to be part of a treatment plan that's short-term.

Percocet Addiction Statistics

Often used for post-op or an injury, Percocet works by affecting the central nervous system to alter how the brain perceives pain. Percocet's useful function, however, is also what causes people to abuse it and become addicted to it. Here's what you should know about this medication whether it's Percocet 5/325, Percocet 10, or other dosages.

Percocet Addiction
What is Percocet?

Percocet Addiction

What makes percoset so addictive? It starts with how quickly one becomes dependent on the highly addictive opioid ingredient, oxycodone. If a heroin addict can't find heroin, they will seek out oxycodone as a replacement. Percocet does what all opioids do, they activate the reward center in the brain which is how someone becomes addicted. It's the feeling that the brain comes to depend on. The longer a person takes it, the higher Percocet dosage one has to use.

Percocet Abuse

Percocet Abuse

Percocet is also known as “white collar heroin” as it's legal but just as addictive as the opiate street version. When people abuse Percocet, they will often combine other narcotics to get a greater high. This is known as drug synergy and it boosts the analgesic properties of Percocet. When it's abused in this way, it offers a very similar effect to heroin. The oxycodone in Percocet is time released so it's challenging for users to obtain the high they're looking for. This results in a heavy Percocet dosage at one time which leads to abuse, and then to addiction.

Percocet abuse can include chewing or crushing up the pills instead of swallowing them. This is to get the rapid effects as it absorbs more quickly into the bloodstream.

Addicts may snort percs or inject it in order to get it directly into their blood. It doesn't take many pills to overdose on the acetaminophen in Percocet even if they've developed a tolerance for oxycodone. This can cause liver damage or the person can easily overdose. Once someone is abusing Percocet regularly, they are probably going to need professional care to recover.

Signs of Percocet Addiction/Abuse

Signs of Percocet Addiction/Abuse

Percocet has quite a few possible side effects which can help you identify whether someone you know is abusing Percocet. Daily long-term use of perk pills can start to deteriorate the mind and body so you may notice these signs indicating Percocet addiction;

  • They may seem confused.
  • Highs and lows in the persons' mood.
  • There's no moderation in sleeping, it's either too much or not at all.
  • You may notice that they sweat regardless of the temperature.

You may notice behavioral symptoms of Percocet addiction and dependence. Here are some of the signs;

  • School or work performance declining. They often won't show up for obligations and if they do, they don't perform well.
  • They may complain a lot about not feeling well.
  • They become disinterested in physical activity
  • Their behavior changes quickly.
  • They always need money.
  • They may start to get into more trouble with the law as they do things in order to get Percocet.

Abuse of perk pills can physically damage the body which can include liver failure. This is due to too much consumption of the accompanying drug in Percs, acetaminophen.

Even when you know the signs and symptoms of Percocet addiction, you may still not be certain. There are online addiction quizzes that can help you find out for sure.

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Percocet Song-Molly Percocet

Urban culture is a good indication of what's trending and sadly this can be seen in songs about Percocet. The artist, Future sings a song called ‘Molly Percocet' and includes similar wording in his song ‘Mask off'. Other artists like Lil' Wayne include lyrics about their Molly Percocet experience. Molly itself is a pure form of MDMA (often what you'll find in ecstasy pills). Percocet aids in snorting MDMA (MDMA is harsh on its own). Percocet also helps a person come down from Molly as it can be quite a downer once the high wears off. Percocet songs indicate that this is a hot drug that is being used by the famous and elite.

Percocet High

When Percocet is prescribed for pain, it alleviates pain and offers a slight feeling of happiness or euphoria. The feeling can cause a patient to become dependent on Percocet if treatment isn't monitored properly. However, when perks pills are taken in large doses, people will experience a high that is similar to heroin. This will include feelings of total relaxation and calm, euphoria, and an increase in pleasure. Some people might believe that perk pills are a safer way of getting high than illicit street drugs. After all, if a doctor prescribes them and its FDA approved, it must be okay.

The problem is, prescription drugs aren't risky when a person takes the amount that is prescribed.

When it's determined that someone needs the medication in order to function. It's not safe to combine with other drugs and Percocet addiction/abuse is just as plausible as heroin addiction. There is a risk of overdose when you attempt to obtain a high from Percocet by snorting or taking intravenously.

Perks Pills and other Percocet Nicknames

Percocet is the brand name for the combination of oxycodone and APAP (Tylenol). There are a variety of strengths that it comes in. These include;

  • Percocet 5/325 is the most common. It indicates 5 mg Percocet and 325 mg Tylenol.
  • 2.5/325
  • 7.5/325
  • 7.5/500
  • 10/325 or Percocet 10
  • 10/650
  • 15/30 (with no Tylenol)
  • 512s

Other brand names include: Endocet, Primlev, Roxicet, Xartemis XR.

Street names include:

  • Percs
  • White Collar Heroin
  • Perk pills
  • Paulas
  • Roxicotten
  • Roxi's
  • Blue Dynamite

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Percocet Side Effects

Percocet Side Effects

Percocet includes two ingredients that both have their own side effects as well as effects when combined. One of the most common side effects most will experience is constipation. Other common side effects include:

  • The person's behaviors change.
  • They become moody and may become depressed.
  • They may not be able to sleep or they may sleep for long periods of time.
  • They will have low blood pressure.
  • They won't want to do anything that requires using physical energy.
  • They may have a problem breathing.
  • They may sweat even when it's cold.
  • They may have an upset stomach or dry mouth.
  • They don't seem to feel pain.
  • They become light headed.

If you notice that these symptoms last for a long time and only seem to get worse, it's possible that someone you know has become addicted to Percocet. There is help available for someone who has become addicted to prescription drugs.

If there are any of the following side effects, you should call a doctor immediately;

  • Serious problems with breathing including apnea, where the person stops breathing for a time.
  • Respiratory arrest.
  • Blood pressure goes way down.
  • The person is in shock.
  • The person becomes unconscious and stops breathing completely.
Percocet Withdrawal

What to Expect During Percocet Withdrawal

For people who have become addicted to Percocet, they may find it difficult to get the drug. Doctors have tried to restrict the amount they are prescribing because the risk of Percocet abuse is so high. When a person is showing signs and symptoms like this, it's also an indication of addiction to percs. The cycle of Percocet abuse and withdrawal include the following;

  • Sleeping for abnormally long times.
  • They may complain of dizziness.
  • They become weak and complain of muscle pain.
  • They may have panic attacks.
  • They may have flu-like symptoms like an upset stomach or fever.

Percocet Overdose Symptoms

When someone takes more Percocet dosage past what is suggested, it can lead to overdose. Here are some of the symptoms that may occur;

  • The person will be extremely drowsy.
  • They will experience a weakness in their muscles.
  • Their pupils will be constricted.
  • They may faint.
  • You may notice they have difficulty breathing which can lead to respiratory failure.
  • Their skin color may change. For example, lips or toes may go blue.
  • Their skin becomes cold and clammy.
  • They may become unconscious.
  • It's possible that they may fall into a coma.

While Percocet overdose is scary to witness, if the person survives, it may be just the kind of intervention they needed. Once friends and family have solid evidence that Percocet abuse is occurring, they can get the help needed for the addict.

Differences of Percocet vs. Vicodin

People may compare Percocet vs. Vicodin when it comes to pain relief. The difference lies in their ingredients. While Vicodin has hydrocodone, Percocet contains oxycodone. They are both with schedule II implying that they are at a high risk of being abused. They are both considered risky for physical and psychological dependence.

When comparing price between generic Percocet vs. Vicodin, it is Vicodin that usually costs less. As far as potency goes, Percocet is stronger because of the oxycodone which is more potent that hydrocodone. The side effects are similar but Vicodin has shown to cause greater risk of constipation. Vicodin and Percocet are dangerous to mix with other substances. However, if someone has taken MAOI's within two weeks, Vicodin can have an adverse effect on the body.

Percocet Ingredients:

  • Percocet tablets: 325 mg of acetaminophen with 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg oxycodone
  • Generic tablets: 300 mg or 325 mg of acetaminophen with 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg oxycodone (Percocet 10)
  • Generic liquid: 325 mg acetaminophen and 5 mg oxycodone for every 5 mL

Vicodi Ingredientsn:

  • Vicodin tablets: 300 mg of acetaminophen with 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg hydrocodone
  • Generic tablets: 300 mg or 325 mg of acetaminophen with 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, or 10 mg hydrocodone
  • Generic liquid: 325 mg acetaminophen with 7.5 mg or 10 mg hydrocodone per 15 mL
Help Someone Addicted to Percocet

Signs that a Friend or Family Member is Abusing or Addicted to Percocet

If you find that someone close to you is exhibiting some of the signs and symptoms of Percocet abuse, you should seek out professional assistance. Inpatient/outpatient clinics can help someone who is addicted to perk pills. They can safely go through a detox program that will help them through the withdrawal phase. It's important that when you do recognize the signs and symptoms of Percocet abuse, you do something about it. The medication Percocet is being abused as a drug by those who don't have prescriptions. This makes it challenging for you to monitor how much someone is taking. This is why knowing the symptoms will be helpful.

If someone you know is abusing Percocet, there are resources that are available to them. From detox to support, there are plenty of options available for someone experiencing Percocet addiction. There is also resources that allow you to help them through their battle.

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Full Infographic:

Percocet Abuse and Addiction Infographic