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What Are Percs?: Percocet Effects and Addiction

What Are Percs? | Percocet Effects and Addiction | Just Believe Recovery
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If you or a loved one need help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Recovery at (888) 380-0667. Our specialists can assess your individual needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for long-term recovery.

“Percs” is a slang term that refers to the opioid Percocet. Percocet is a common prescription drug that consists of the narcotic painkiller oxycodone and acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Like other opioids, Percs are known to be remarkably addictive. The high number of prescriptions given out in recent years has been cited as a major contributor to the ongoing opioid crisis. In general, oxycodone is about 50% stronger than morphine.

Percocet Effects

The oxycodone in Percocet causes analgesic effects that treat moderate to severe pain.

Some common effects and side effects of Percs include the following:

  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain suppression
  • Stomach aches

Percocet Dependence and Withdrawal

Long-term use of oxycodone can lead to the development of a condition known as chemical dependence. Once an individual is dependent on a substance, their body and brain require its presence to continue functioning properly. If the user attempts to rapidly cut back or quit taking oxycodone, they will develop unpleasant, often painful withdrawal symptoms, such as the following:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Increase heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor concentration
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Teary eyes

Percocet Addiction Warning Signs

Dependence is usually a component of addiction, but true addiction is further hallmarked by the persistent abuse of a substance despite the incurrence of adverse consequences, such as financial, legal, social, or health problems.

Common signs that your loved one is abusing or addicted to Percocet include the following:

  • Deceptive or secretive behavior
  • Personality, mood, or behavioral changes
  • New or worsening physical or mental health problems
  • The adoption of new or different priorities or goals
  • Neglect of work, school, or family responsibilities
  • A change in friends or social group

Risk factors for developing an addiction to Percocet include the following:

  • Personal history of drug or alcohol use
  • Family member(s) who abuse drugs
  • History of childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
  • Ongoing physical or mental health conditions
  • High stress
  • Long-term recreational or prescription use of Percocet

What Are Percs? | Percocet Effects and Addiction | Just Believe Recovery

Some consequences of heavy Percocet abuse or addiction include:

  • Brain damage
  • Frequent, recurring infections
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Loss of motivation
  • Organ damage or failure
  • Overdose
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Worsening mental health

A Word on Acetaminophen

While the oxycodone in Percocet is the addictive component of the drug, an overdose of acetaminophen is possible if too many Percs are ingested at one time. Acetaminophen overdose can be life-threatening on its own, and will usually happen more easily than an oxycodone overdose. Many Percocet overdose deaths are actually related to an overdose of acetaminophen, not oxycodone. It is recommended that an individual consume no more than 4000 mg of acetaminophen per day to prevent this from happening.

Percocet Overdose

On its own, abuse of Percs is dangerous and can lead to overdose. It becomes exponentially more deadly if combined with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol, other opioids, sleeping pills, or benzodiazepines. Doing so can slow heart and respiration rates to critical levels, leading to irreversible brain damage, coma, or death.

Signs and symptoms of opioid overdose include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Bluish lips or fingernails
  • Choking or gurgling in throat
  • Limp body
  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Unresponsiveness

If you suspect someone is overdosing on Percs or another opioid, call 911 immediately.

Treatment Options for Percocet Addiction

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that usually requires professional treatment to overcome. Oftentimes, those struggling with addiction feel helpless, but a range of treatment options is available.

Outpatient Treatment

During outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment for addiction, individuals still live at home and commute to the treatment center to receive services. This option is most useful for those individuals who do not require the most intense treatment and who have responsibilities, such as work or family, to attend to each day. Scheduling is flexible, and the intensity and frequency of treatment sessions can be adjusted to meet individual needs.

Partial-Hospitalization Programs

Partial-hospitalization programs (PHP) are a step up from outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment and require more of the patient’s time. Those enrolled in a PHP receive treatment for all or most of the day and return home in the evening or at night.

Inpatient Residential Treatment

Inpatient or residential treatment is the next step up and features around-the-clock treatment. For individuals with the most severe addictions, this format offers the greatest chance of success.


Psychotherapy is a staple of addiction treatment. Through psychotherapeutic techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), individuals learn how to identify the underlying psychological motivations that fuel their addictions. Psychotherapy also helps individuals learn healthy coping mechanisms to replace substance abuse.

Get Help for Addiction Today

Just Believe Recovery Center offers state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary programs in both intensive outpatient and residential formats. Our comprehensive approach employs a variety of therapeutic methods and activities, including the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Peer support groups
  • Art and music therapy
  • Substance abuse education
  • Relapse prevention
  • Health and wellness education
  • Aftercare planning
  • Alumni events

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.
If you or a loved one need help with substance abuse and/or treatment, please contact Just Believe Recovery at (888) 380-0667. Our specialists can assess your individual needs and help you get the treatment that provides the best chance for long-term recovery.

Read This Next : Dangers of Snorting Percocet

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