ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Percocet is habit-forming for anyone who uses it for more than a couple weeks. This article provides basic info on Percocet and how can you can safely detox from it.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Percocet Basics
- Your Brain
- Your Body
- Can You Detox Alone?
- Where To Detox?
- Treating Common Symptoms
- Do You Have Questions?
What is Percocet?
Percocet causes physical dependence in as little as 2-3 weeks.
What Happens To Your Brain?
- Anxiety relief
- Feelings of relaxation
These effects are mediated by opioid in the central nervous system for endogenous opioid-like compounds such as endorphins and enkephalins. This is the main reason that Percocet is Scheduled as a Type II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. It has a habit-forming potential for anyone who uses it continuously over the long therm, or abuses it illegally.
The bottom line?
Percocet affects the brain and the central nervous system the same way heroin and morphine do – by changing the way the brain perceives physical pain. When doses of Percocet are upped, you can experience a “high” that is pretty much similar to the “high” produced by heroin, including feelings of:
- Extreme well-being
- Heightened pleasure
Percocet triggers the release of neurotransmitters in our brain. Dopamine is one of those neurotransmitters, also called “the happy hormone” or “feel-good chemical” and plays an important role in the reward system. This system is crucial for delivering pleasurable feelings and motivation.
However, there is a trick!
The brain’s reward system also reinforces behaviors that lead to or initiate the release of dopamine. THIS is how addiction to Percocet is formed.
Seek help anytime you detox from Percocet. Medical detox ensures your safety.
What Happens To Your Body?
- A person’s general health, age, and medical history.
- Average dosage of Percocet intake.
- The frequency of Percocet use.
- The total length of time of Percocet use.
Call us to review your detox options. You don’t have to withdraw alone.
Common withdrawal symptoms you may experience when you quit Percocet include:
- Blurred vision
- Confusion and difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty urinating
- Dizziness or faintness
- Dry mouth
- Dysphoria or negative mood
- Excess sweating, flushing and itching
- Stiff muscles
- Stomach ache and nausea
24-72 Days After Your Last Percocet Dose
- Flushed skin
- Heart palpitations
- Increased heart rate
3-7 Days After Your Last Percocet Dose
- Body Pain
Week 2 Of Percocet Withdrawal
- Body pain
Week 3 Of Percocet Withdrawal
- Feeling better
Week 4 Of Percocet Withdrawal:
- Sleep stabilization
Overdose can occur if you take Percocet after you complete a detox. Call 911 immediately or administer naloxone.
A Percocet overdose can be identified by a combination of three signs and symptoms referred to as the “opioid overdose triad”. The symptoms of the triad are:
- Pinpoint pupils
- Respiratory depression
Overdose occurs when someone intentionally or accidentally takes a dose higher than prescribed. These symptoms become much more serious:
- Bluish-colored fingernails and lips.
- Coma (unresponsiveness).
- Difficulty breathing.
- Low blood pressure.
- Muscle damage from being immobile while unresponsive.
- No breathing.
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Possible seizures.
- Shallow breathing.
- Slow breathing that requires more effort.
- Spasms (pain) of the stomach or intestinal tract.
- Weak pulse.
A drug overdose is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of an overdose, call for help from 9-1-1 right away, because requires emergency medical treatment.
Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent overdose by opioids such as oxycodone (contain in Percocet). It blocks opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose. Naloxone is administered when a patient is showing signs of oxycodone overdose. The medication can be given by intranasal spray, intramuscular (into the muscle), subcutaneous (under the skin), or intravenous injection. This medication can only be administrated by a medical doctor.
Factors that may increase the risk of Percocet overdose include:
- Being dependent on or addicted to Percocet.
- Combining Percocet with acetaminophen or other drugs containing acetaminophen (e.g., other opioid combinations, over-the-counter analgesics/fever-reducers/cold and cough preparations).
- Combining Percocet with other drugs, especially alcohol or benzodiazepines.
- Having some other serious medical condition (e.g., liver disease, respiratory compromise).
- Using Percocet in a way other than intended, such as snorting or injecting.
Can You Detox Yourself?
Where To Detox?
Inpatient treatment allows the recovering individual to stay for a duration of time at a live-in sober facility where they engage in regular therapy and counseling to understand the root causes of their addiction and to build up their sobriety skills. Inpatient programs typically offer 30-, 60-, and 90-day options.
Outpatient treatment programs also involve regular therapy and counseling, yet the individual continues to live at home throughout the treatment duration. These programs require a lot of self-motivation.
To supplement formal treatment, free self-help groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, are a great way to engage with a community of sober-minded peers.
Medication and talk therapy are the best combination to help you “cure” a drug problem.
Methadone relieves withdrawal symptoms and helps with detox. It is also used as a long-term maintenance medicine for opioid dependence. After a period of maintenance, the dose may be decreased slowly over a long time. This helps reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. Some people stay on methadone for years.
Lofexidine hydrochloride (Lucemyra) is not an opioid but it can be used to ease the symptoms when there needs to be a rapid detoxification. It is for the mitigation of withdrawal symptoms to facilitate abrupt discontinuation of opioids in adults. While Lucemyra may lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms, it may not completely prevent them. It has been approved for use for up to 14 days.
Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, stops opiates like Vicodin from binding to the brain’s receptors. This medication is typically not used until after a person has successfully detoxed from their addiction. It is used instead as a method to help maintain sobriety by preventing opioid drugs taken during a relapse from having an effect.
Suboxone is another medication for Vicodin addiction treatment. This medication is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, which is designed to lower the potential for abuse. When ingested as prescribed, Suboxone’s buprenorphine component works on the brain to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings; however, when crushed or abused in ways not as prescribed in order to get high, naloxone binds to the opioid receptors in the brain instead, stopping the uptake of all other opioids and sending the person into withdrawal.
Treating Common Symptoms
Source: Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings. Withdrawal Management.
Do You Have Questions?
Reference Sources: CDC: Prescription opioid overdose data
FDA: Opioid medications
MEDLINE PLUS: Opiate and opioid withdrawal
NCBI: Oxycodone/Acetaminophen (By mouth)
NIH: Misuse of prescription drugs
NIDA: Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction
NIDA: Principles of drug addiction treatment
SAMHSA: Medication and Counseling Treatment
SAMHSA: Treatments for Substance Use Disorders
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a licensed medical professional.