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Percocet Abuse

Does Experimentation = Percocet Abuse?

Yes, any recreational use of Percocet is considered abuse of the medication.

Percocet (main ingredient oxycodone) is a fast-acting opioid analgesic used for the management of pain. Due to its potency to trigger euphoria and numbing feelings, it has popularly become the drug of choice for many people. So, if you’re reading this and feel that your Percocet use is turning into a substance abuse problem…you’re in the right place. We can help!

In this article, we’ll first describe ways to recognize a Percocet abuse problem. Then, we suggest how to seek professional help. Finally, we invite your questions about Percocet at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all real-life questions with a personal reply!


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Review the signs and side effects of Percocet abuse below. Then, send us your questions and comments in the section at the end of the page. We value your feedback and try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.

Percocet Main Uses

Percocet is classified as a Schedule II drug. It is an opioid painkiller, prescribed in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Like other opioids, Percocet changes the way our brain perceives pain. But it is also a habit-forming painkiller, one that can trigger euphoria – an effect that contributes to its abuse. Moreover, Percocet has a rapid onset. It affects the n and k brain receptors within 15 minutes after oral administration…even quicker when it is smoked, chewed, or injected.

Why is Percocet Abused?

Percocet is frequently used recreationally for its psychoactive effects. But, the reasons behind drug abuse are as different as the individuals who abuse it. Some of the most common contributing factors that influence ones likelihood of abusing Percocet, include:

#1 GENETICS – Individuals who have a family history of substance abuse disorders, especially within the closest family circle (parents or close relatives) face a 50% higher risk of abusing drugs such as Percocet, or other illicit and prescription drugs or alcohol.

#2 TRAUMA – Experiencing traumatic events, especially at a young age, can increase a person’s chances of abusing psychoactive substances. A traumatic event can be anything from psychological trauma, abuse, loss of a loved one, high stress living environment, and/or dysfunctional family dynamics.

#3 MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES – Suffering from psychological diseases, especially mood disorders such as chronic anxiety and depression can be a contributing factor in developing a substance abuse problem. Moreover, Percocet abuse can further worsen any pre-existing mental health disorders.

#4 INDIVIDUAL BIOLOGICAL MAKEUP – Some people experience stronger reward sensations from Percocet. If you are one of those people whose brain is super sensitive to the way opioid drugs make you feel, you will have a higher likelihood to engage in substance abuse.

How Do People Abuse Percocet?

Percocet is intended only to be administered orally. After it’s swallowed, Percocet is digested in the gastro-intestinal tract. Then, it travels through the bloodstream and reaches the brain. Altering the dosages or modes of Percocet administration may intensify and prolong the duration of effects, but it is also extremely dangerous.

Percocet can be abused in the following ways:

  • Orally (by taking more Percocet tablets at once)
  • Chewing Percocet to bypass controlled release parameters
  • Crushing tablets and snorting
  • Smoking Percocet
  • Dissolving in liquid and injecting

REMEMBER: When taken in a different way than suggested, a huge concentrated amount of oxycodone gets released into the system, and can cause serious damage to your health.

Is It Abuse If I Have a Prescription?

Yes…it can be!

Q: What is considered Percocet abuse when you have a medical prescription?
A: Percocet abuse is the compulsive, excessive, and self-damaging use that leads to serious physiological injury, psychological harm, addiction, dependence, or even death.

If you are using Percocet as prescribed by your doctor, then you have a smaller risk of developing a problem. But, if you are using Percocet in larger doses than prescribed or taking it more often than you should – you are abusing the drug. Ways a person can abuse the medication include:

  • Diverting Percocet (taking someone else’s prescription)
  • Doctor shopping for Percocet (getting multiple prescriptions from different doctors)
  • Fabricating body pain just to secure more Percocet.
  • Mixing Percocet with other drugs or alcohol.
  • Obtaining Percocet through illegal channels (e.g. the internet off the street)
  • Taking Percocet more frequently than prescribed.
  • Using Percocet in larger doses than prescribed.

Typical Signs of Percocet Abuse

If you are concerned that someone close to you has a problem with Percocet abuse, there are ways you can recognize it and intervene before abuse turns into a full-blown addiction. Here are some signs that you can look for:


  • Constipation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Depressed respiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting


  • Aggression
  • Concentration issues
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Disengagement from reality
  • Impaired judgement
  • Lightheadedness
  • Mood changes
  • Over-relaxation

If a loved one turns out to have a problem with Percocet, seek professional help from a psychologist, counselor, or a treatment program to proactively help that person get the help they need.


Recognize these signs of Percocet abuse in yourself or a loved one?
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Percocet Abuse Dangers

First, one of the dangers of abusing Percocet is increased tolerance to oxycodone. The is a state where a person no longer responds to the drug and over time, more and more Percocet is required to achieve the desired effects.

Second, a danger of abusing Perocet is the development of Percocet dependence and withdrawal. The occurrence of withdrawal symptoms is evidence of drug-dependence. When you take excessive amounts of the drug and then suddenly stop, your body and brain will not know how to deal with the abrupt lack of Percocet in the system because they have gotten accustomed to your regular dosing.

Finally, you risk addiction when you abuse Percocet. Addiction to Percocet is difficult and harsh for everyone who’s affected. No one wants to get addicted, and as a consequence may become desperate and feel guilty. This is a disease that affects every aspect of a person’s life and can occur in any person regardless of age, sex, or race. Percocet can have a negative effect to almost every aspect of your life. This includes work, emotional, and social life.

Here are just a few examples on how Percocet can turn your life upside down (and why Percocet addiction treatment is needed and effective):

  • Broken relationships with friends and family
  • Disengagement from reality
  • Financial problems
  • Hospitalization
  • Job loss
  • Legal consequences
  • Mental health issues

How is Percocet Abuse Treated?

Percocet abuse can be treated medically. In fact, putting yourself in the hands of medical professionals is the best and safest way to approach treatment. Generally, there are two main steps in the management of a Percocet abuse problem.

1. Detoxification and withdrawal treatment

Detox from Percocet in a medically supervised setting is strongly recommended due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Percocet users who try to quit Percocet are likely to experience:

  • Agitation
  • Cold sweats
  • Cravings
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures

Percocet withdrawal can vary in intensity and duration depending on how much, how often, and for how long you’ve been abusing the drug. This is why it’s best that you are monitored at a detox clinic or a hospital for the first few days. Doctors and nurses can offer psychological support, and prescribe medications such as:

  • Naltrexone – Used to blocks opioids from affecting the brain.
  • Buprenorphine – Used to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

2. Therapy and Counseling

Therapies used to address Percocet abuse include a combination of psychological and behavioral interventions. At a reputable treatment program, you can expect to receive a selection of evidence-based and holistic therapies that correspond with your therapeutic needs. Some of them include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Dual diagnosis treatment.
  • Education sessions.
  • Family therapy.
  • Individual and group therapy sessions.
  • Nutritional counseling and wellness activities.
  • Motivational interviewing.
  • Medication maintenance therapy.
  • Planning for aftercare programs.
  • Support group meetings.

Therapy is aimed to help you deal with the mental and emotional issues that are rooted in your problem with Percocet. Resolving these issues and taking on new, positive thoughts and behaviors is the base for long term recovery.

Got any questions?

This article is only a general review of Percocet abuse and its adverse effects. If you want to learn more, please leave your questions and comments in the section below. You can also contact us via the contact us page available on the website. We appreciate your feedback and try to provide personal and prompt responses to all legitimate inquiries.

Reference Sources: NIH: Percocet
NIH: Daily Med: Percocet
Drug Abuse: Scientific Research on Prescription Drug Abuse
Justice: Prescription drug abuse and youth

Percocet Abuse

4 Effects on the brain from long term Percocet use (INFOGRAPHIC)

Effects on the brain from long term Percocet use (INFOGRAPHIC)

May 16th, 2016

When exposed to Percocet on the long term, our brain goes through several changes in its function and structure. This infographic helps you explore Percocet’s long term effects on the brain.

23 Long term physical effects of Percocet on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

Long term physical effects of Percocet on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

March 27th, 2016

What damages and risks can long term Percocet abuse cause to your body and organs? Explore this infographic to learn how prolonged Percocet use can harm your body.

6 Signs and symptoms of Percocet addiction

Signs and symptoms of Percocet addiction

April 7th, 2014

Symptoms of Percocet addiction include doctor shopping, non-prescription use, and continued use of Percocet despite negative life consequences. More signs here.

11 How is Percocet abused?

How is Percocet abused?

October 23rd, 2013

Percocet abuse includes taking more Percocet than prescribed, or for longer periods than intended. Or using Percocet in ways other than prescribed (snorting, smoking, injecting). More on what Percocet abuse is here.

76 What happens when you snort Percocet?

What happens when you snort Percocet?

February 24th, 2013

When you snort Percoet, you speed onset of oxycodone in the brain. Is snorting Percocet bad for you? We review here.

55 Smoking Percocet

Smoking Percocet

August 25th, 2012

What does smoking Percocet really do to you? Smoking Percocet can irritate the nasal passages, eyes, and lungs. In this article, we’ll explore how smoking Percocet affects your body and just how safe smoking Percocet really is.

9 What is Percocet used for?

What is Percocet used for?

June 8th, 2012

Percocet is used to manage pain. More on Percocet’s uses, side effects, and dangers here.

83 Mixing Percocet with alcohol

Mixing Percocet with alcohol

May 23rd, 2012

Mixing Percocet and alcohol can trigger a pleasant, relaxing state. But you can also die from Percocet overdose or cause alcohol poisoning? More here on the harms of mixing Percocet with alcohol and how to avoid them.

46 Can you overdose (OD) on Percocet?

Can you overdose (OD) on Percocet?

May 17th, 2012

Yes, you can overdose on Percocet because of the acetaminophen (not the oxycodone) it contains. More on what happens when you OD on Percocet, acetaminophen poisoning, and safe doses here.

206 Percocet overdose: How much amount of Percocet to OD?

Percocet overdose: How much amount of Percocet to OD?

April 18th, 2012

Percocet can be lethal if taken in larger doses than directed, even if the dose is only slightly higher than prescribed. More on how much amount of Percocet is safe for you and Percocet overdose here.

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