Oxycodone-acetaminophen, otherwise known as Percocet, is a powerful painkiller. Percocet can do a lot of good. It can help people who are recovering from surgery, treat chronic pain flare-ups, and more.
However, Percocet can be dangerous when misused. It is one of the most addictive prescription drugs out there and may put you at risk for other addictions.
The side effects of Percocet abuse can be long-lasting and damage your brain and body. Keep reading, and we’ll tell you all about the long-term effects of Percocet and the other risks associated with it.
We’ll also give you some resources to turn to if you are struggling with a Percocet addiction.
What Is Percocet?
Percocet is an opioid drug. Opioids are derived from the poppy plant and are highly addictive. When you take an opioid, your brain gets filled to the brim with endorphins.
This is part of what makes them such a good painkiller. However, this rush of happy chemicals tricks your brain into becoming dependent on opioids.
When you use opioids long enough, your brain will lose the ability to make those chemicals naturally. That is how Percocet dependence can work on you.
Percocet carries a high risk of addiction. It is usually prescribed on a short-term basis, but even just a few doses can be enough to get you hooked.
Percocet is also an instant-release drug, which means it also gives you instant gratification. This makes it an easy target for people with addictive tendencies.
Once someone runs out of Percocet, they are likely to seek it out from other sources besides their doctor. They might turn to illegal drug dealers or try to see many doctors at once.
Percocet Side Effects
Percocet contains Oxycodone. Oxycodone is associated with a host of possible side effects, even if you aren’t abusing it.
Opioids can be harsh on your body, even in prescribed doses. They will be even harsher if you are not taking them as prescribed.
Some of the immediate side effects of Percocet may include:
- Digestive problems
- Memory loss
- Feeling lightheaded
Percocet is part of a large class of drugs called Central Nervous System Depressants. CNS Depressant drugs slow down all of your body’s essential functions.
Your heart rate slows, your digestion slows, and your brain will feel slow too. Taking large amounts of Percocet essentially puts your body in a suspended state, in which it is operating at bare minimum levels to keep you alive.
Those are just the negative side effects, however. Percocet may also bring you a feeling of euphoria and confidence. Some users report that taking the drug makes them feel like “a better person in their Percocet reviews.”
If you are prescribed Percocet for pain, it may relieve you that you have not felt in a long time. Because of how fast and well Percocet works, it is easy to think, “I need to take this every day, forever.”
Long Term Effects of Percocet Abuse
Any person who takes Percocet risks forming a long-term habit. While the side effects of Percocet are relatively harmless in a short-term dose, they can become dangerous when use is prolonged.
Long-term use of opioid drugs has been linked to significant cognitive problems later in life. After months or years of Percocet use, you may experience significant memory problems.
Opioid addiction is considered a chronic condition. About 80% of opioid addicts were first exposed to the drugs through prescribed medications.
This means that opioids cause an addictive response in your brain after only a short period of exposure to them.
After prolonged Percocet use, your compulsion to find new sources of the drug is going to be stronger than your desire to do pretty much anything else. The pleasure centers of your brain will be rewired to only respond to opioids.
Keeping your central nervous system in a depressed state for a long time is also detrimental to your health.
Your digestive system may be significantly less functional after a long period of Percocet abuse. You also may experience fatigue that seems to be present at all times.
Percocet involves influencing areas of the brain where reward and pleasure take place. It can develop feelings of euphoria, well-being, and pleasure.
Although Percocet is a prescription drug and is deemed safer than illegal drugs, it can still cause addiction like any other opioid. Like other opioids, tolerance forms quickly, and addiction causes the individual to consume more to feel the same effects.
In 2013 there were 2.7 times more opioids prescribed that year than in 1991, according to a survey by NIDA. In the same year, 46 percent of drug-related medical emergencies were related to opioids.
Between the years 2004 and 2004, there was a 152 percent increase in emergency rooms visits involving painkillers such as Percocet.
Over the last two decades, the number of opioid overdoses has tripled because of the malpractice of overprescribing patients with painkillers.
Fight Back Against Percocet Addiction
Opioid addiction is a serious problem, but it can be treated with the help of the right professionals.
Don’t wait to take back your life from addiction. You now know more about the dangerous long-term effects of Percocet. If you or someone you know has a Percocet addiction, don’t wait to seek help.