It’s used to treat moderate to severe pain on a short-term basis, and it is dispensed in tablet form.
The opioid aspect of the drug rapidly produces tolerance. Individuals regularly taking Percocet will need higher and higher doses to produce the same effect. This can lead to addiction and adverse health effects.
The abuse of prescription medications has been on the rise due to increased availability and the belief that these drugs are safer to abuse than illicit intoxicants. However, prescription opioids like Percocet can be just as addictive as illegal drugs and have the potential for overdose. In fact, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported in 2009 that deaths related to oxycodone in Ontario increased fivefold between 1991 and 2004.
This rise in abuse and deaths led governments to restrict prescriptions of Percocet. Tests were developed to detect the presence of the drug in urine, saliva, and hair follicles. These may be used in addiction treatment center to detect relapse or by certain employers in various occupations.
Withdrawal from Percocet
Anyone addicted to Percocet or any other opioid should consult a medical professional before attempting to quit, as withdrawal symptoms can be extremely unpleasant, and cravings can be intense. Addiction treatment centers will often recommend gradually weaning a client off the medication to avoid these effects.Percocet withdrawal symptoms include:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle aches
In addition to this, many drug tests can also detect the agents that are created when the liver metabolizes opioids. These metabolites stay in a person’s system longer than the drug itself.
In urine tests, traces of Percocet can generally be detected for 48 hours, starting 2 hours after the first dose. It can be found in the blood for just a day. The only long-term test is the hair test, which can detect oxycodone built up in the follicles for up to 30 days. However, this test is not as reliable as urine or blood tests.
Addiction to Percocet and other opioids is a serious matter. Opioids can cause long-term damage to the body, and building a high tolerance to the drug puts one at risk for overdose and illness. The addition of high amounts of acetaminophen to Percocet is also damaging to the liver, as the organ produces a harsh agent when it processes the drug that can cause inflammation, hepatitis, scarring, and permanent damage. To prevent this, addiction treatment services should be sought out as soon as an addiction is suspected.