The Comedown From Percocet

Most people start using Percocet with the hope that their chronic pain or severe pain from an injury can be managed. This is a prescription medication that contains oxycodone (opioid) and acetaminophen. Unfortunately, even when Percocet is used as directed by a family doctor there is a high potential for abuse and addiction. Oxycodone is one of the active ingredients in Percocet and belongs to a family of drugs known as opioids. Opioids are highly addictive because they relieve pain by altering how the brain and central nervous system respond to pain signals. Many people are able to use this drug without becoming addicted. However, some people become addicted to it and struggle with being physically dependent on it.

Percocet is a Schedule II controlled substance meaning that it has a high abuse and dependence potential. Physical dependence can occur after several weeks on a high dose of the medication. The length of time it takes to become physically dependent greatly varies from person to person. The body becomes used to always receiving the drug and begins to alter the brain’s chemical balance to adjust to it. When a person becomes dependent on the medication it means that when they try to abruptly stop or reduce their medication use they will experience withdrawal symptoms.

Comedown from Percocet

Withdrawal from Percocet can be extremely painful because of the opioid drug inside the medication. Also, the acetaminophen in this drug intensifies oxycodone potency making it even more powerful. Percocet withdrawal symptoms are a lot similar to the morphine withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from Percocet can include agitation, anxiety, tremors, irritability, muscle aches, sweating, yawning, runny nose, increased tearing, loss of appetite insomnia, nausea, vomiting, goosebumps, joint pain, chills, weakness, abdominal cramping, fast heartbeat, fast breathing, diarrhea, and dilated pupils.

Percocet Abuse and Addiction

Taking Percocet anyway other than intended such as taking a higher dose, taking the medication more frequently, or using a different route of administration is considered abusing the medication. The reason people abuse this medication is so that the active ingredient, oxycodone can be released immediately into the body and arrive at the brain faster. This results in an almost immediate high creating euphoric feelings like everything is well in the world.

People typically abuse Percocet through crushing up and mixing the medication with a liquid and then injecting the substance into the body, crushing the pill into a fine powder and snorting it, or chewing the tablets. Abusing Percocet can result in harmful effects such as nausea, vomiting, severe constipation, confusion, drowsiness, slowed breathing, liver damage, and kidney failure.

Drug addiction is a disease that affects a person’s behaviors and leads to uncontrollable use of drugs such as Percocet. An addiction to this drug typically starts with people being prescribed the medication. Over time, medication use becomes more frequent because a person becomes tolerant. This means they need a higher dose to experience the same effects they did when they first started taking the medication.

Eventually, a person will need to take Percocet just to feel normal and it may become difficult to stop using the medication. Once a person is addicted to Percocet it will be extremely difficult to successfully quit the medication due to the intense cravings as well as physical and psychological pain that occurs while withdrawing.

Psychologically withdrawal symptoms can go on for a long time after a person finishes withdrawing. The study published in Addiction Science and Clinical Practices, mentioned that the brain abnormalities that produce addiction are wide, ranging, and complex. These abnormalities can result in cravings that cause a person to relapse months or even years after an individual is no longer dependent on opioids like Percocet.

Psychological symptoms such as depression can persist longer if a person is not provided with treatment. This is because chronic use of Percocet creates brain abnormalities. Basically, Percocet reduces a person’s ability to naturally produce chemicals that are associated with feeling pleasure. This creates an inability to feel pleasure when opioids are not present in a person’s system, resulting in depression and other psychological disturbances. Unfortunately, psychological symptoms will continue for weeks, months, or even years after a person takes their last dose of Percocet unless they receive mental health treatment.

Treatment Options

The best way to treat a Percocet addiction is by medical and mental health professionals at a rehabilitation clinic or inpatient hospitalization. Medical detox at a rehab clinic can ensure a person is safe and comfortable by providing them with medications and behavioral therapy. Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and clonidine are available to ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid detox. Behavioral therapy is a critical part of therapy because it addresses the underlying cause of Percocet abuse and has the ability to alter maladaptive thought patterns associated with using the medication. Behavioral therapy can also teach valuable coping skills to help a person refrain from using this medication in stressful situations.

However, the biggest complication is returning to drug use. Most opioid overdose deaths occur in people who just finished their detox. Therefore, aftercare is so important because most people need life-long treatment after detox. Self-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous surround a person with peers who are going through the same addiction recovery journey. Also, once a person completes their detox process, naltrexone can be prescribed to prevent relapse. Through the combination of medications and therapy, a person is well equipped to avoid relapse and live an abstinent, healthy life.

Finding Help

No one should have to go through the painful detox process alone. If you or someone you love is dependent on Percocet, finding a high-quality rehab facility can provide help with withdrawal symptoms. Rehab can greatly increase your chances of experiencing a successful withdrawal through providing you with the physical and mental support you need to overcome your Percocet addiction.


Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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