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Risks of Percocet Abuse: Withdrawal and Detox

According to the most recent statistical data taken from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual nationwide survey on the use of legal and illegal drugs, more than 4 million Americans reported misusing or abusing prescription medications, especially Percocet and similar schedule II narcotic pain relievers. While we are on the topic, it is worth noting that prescription drug abuse has seen a considerable uptick across several drug classes including sedative and stimulants since the mid-1990s and shows no signs of relenting any time soon. Not surprisingly, this constitutes a significant health problem in the U.S.

Fortunately, those who are abusing these medications are beginning to recognize the toll that it can take on their physical, emotional, and mental health. In this article, we will be taking a closer look specifically at Percocet and the process of ending one’s addiction to the medication.

Percocet Withdrawal

As with any opioid analgesic medication, the withdrawal and detox process can be challenging and, in many cases, makes it difficult for some people to stop using. One of the best ways to overcome Percocet addiction is to seek the help of an accredited drug treatment facility, especially one that offers medication-assisted detox as it can help minimize severe withdrawal symptoms that occur following Percocet cessation. Some of the more common Percocet withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Cramps and diarrhea
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hot and cold spells
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hypertension

Along with the physical symptoms that come with withdrawing from Percocet, many past users have reported experiencing the following psychological symptoms as well:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Agitation
  • Mood instability
  • Lack of focus
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hyperactivity

What Is The Best Way To Quit Percocet?

When it comes to Percocet addiction, there are one of two ways to go about quitting, slowly tapering off of the medication or quitting cold turkey. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what each option entails.

While some people can benefit from an “all or nothing” mentality, this mindset is ill-advised when it comes to ending one’s relationship with Percocet as it can usher in a myriad of unpleasant symptoms. To that point, withdrawal symptoms will start sooner and will be more intense once your body identifies that the drug is no longer in your system. Beyond that, abstinence will be harder to maintain as it will take a great deal of will power to avoid using again either to satisfy cravings or to cope with withdrawal symptoms.

Tapering Off Of Percocet

As with any opioid analgesic, most physicians and drug treatment facilities will agree that slowly tapering off of Percocet is the safest and most effective way to quit using. However, it is worth mentioning that this approach can prolong withdrawal symptoms and also extend the detox process by as much as four weeks. Tapering off of Percocet typically entails the use of medications, which are designed to mimic how the drug affects the brain. Some of the more commonly used medications include:

  • Suboxone
  • Clonidine
  • Methadone

How Does Medically-assisted Detox Work?

Percocet detox typically takes place in a hospital or a dedicated detox facility where practitioners will evaluate the severity of the patient’s addiction, as well as their overall health, before prescribing a medication to help combat withdrawal symptoms. Studies show that the onset of withdrawal symptoms can occur within 4 hours after the patient has consumed their last dose of the powerful narcotic. However, this may not be the case for long-term users as the medication may take longer to dissipate and finally exit the body.

How Long Does Percocet Detox Last?

Percocet detox can last anywhere from 5 to 7 days, during which time patients will encounter several withdrawal symptoms including sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting as the body attempts to rid itself of not only the medication but also toxins and other contaminants. That said, patients can expect to experience significant fluid loss and will have to consume electrolytes and other nutrients to ensure they have enough energy to get through detox with minimal discomfort.

Of course, the detox timeframe and symptoms noted in this article is an aggregate of what past and current users have described as their personal experiences with Percocet withdrawal and detox. To that point, there are several factors that are used to determine how long an individual’s detox and withdrawal symptoms will last including:

  • The dose being consumed
  • How long the individual has been using
  • How the medication is being consumed
  • Whether or not the medication is being combined with other substances

It should be noted that completing detox and overcoming withdrawal symptoms is only part of the recovery process. To ensure long-term success, patients are encouraged to enter an inpatient or outpatient program that address the psychological dependence associated with addiction. These programs typically offer counseling sessions that are designed to teach patients how to recognize triggers that could potentially send them spiraling towards relapse. Also, they can help patients learn how to cope with their emotions as opposed to turning to drugs or alcohol. Most importantly, patients will need to be committed to ending their relationship with Percocet, alcohol, or any other substance that impedes their ability to live a truly fulfilled life.

In summation, Percocet is an excellent pain reliever for those who need it, but it is also a powerful and addictive narcotic that should be taken as prescribed by a physician. If you or someone you know has a problem with Percocet, you’re encouraged to seek treatment as soon as possible. Novo Detox can help you take the first step towards freedom from addiction.