Percocet Withdrawal

Warning Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Percocet Abuse

Percocet has become one of the routinely abused drugs in United States. Percocet tablets contain a combination of acetaminophen and Oxycodone. Acetaminophen is a non-salicylate antipyretic and analgesic. Oxycodone is the semi-synthetic opioid. The main effects produced by Percocet are euphoria, analgesia and pleasant feelings. By acting on the receptors in the brain, it changes the functioning of the brain. The user shortly develops the dependence on the drug. Anyone who uses the drug in crushed form, chews, snorts, or injects into the vessels has more chances of harmful effects on the body and a higher potential for addiction and overdose. A proper monitoring and treatments are required to overcome this addiction in the rehabilitation centers.

Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse:

Percocet acts on the brain to mitigate the effects of pain and generate a sense of euphoria. This forces the person to continuously abuse the drug. When the drug is taken for long durations, the body stops producing the chemicals and relies on the drug to do this job. This leads to the physical and psychological dependency on the drug. Percocet abuse badly influences multiple elements of a person’s life. It all occurs as a result of the intense craving and frequent abuse. The various signs and symptoms of Percocet abuse are:

Physical symptoms

  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Incoordination
  • Irregular breathing
  • Bradycardia
  • Slurred speech
  • Insomnia

Psychological symptoms

  • Impaired judgment
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mood swings
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Anger

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Inability to stop or reduce the consumption of the drug.
  • The addict starts visiting various doctors with false complaints of pain.
  • Tries to steal the drug that was medically given to someone else.
  • Frequently borrows or steals the money in order to buy the drug.
  • He can’t stop the intake of drug or control the cravings.
  • He keeps increasing the doses of Percocet.

Side Effects of Percocet Abuse:

The drug abuse not only affects the physical or psychological health of the individual but the social aspects, family relationships, and financial status also get ruined. Some of the side effects of Percocet abuse include:

  • Exacerbations of underlying mental disorders.
  • Visual problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Physical injuries
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Family discord
  • Shattered relationships
  • Poor academic performance
  • Legal problems
  • Financial devastations
  • Loss of job
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Death

Health Effects of Percocet: Short Term and Long Term

The short-term effects of euphoria produced by the drug make the person keep abusing the drug. Over the extended durations, the effects begin to get worse as the drug starts producing harmful changes in the body. The long term effects can cause the organ damage due to irreversible changes produced over a course of time.

Short-term effects:

These are produced within few minutes after the drug is taken.

  • Euphoria
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Migraine
  • Constipation
  • Paranoia
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood Swings
  • Hallucinations

Long term effects:

The harmful effects of long-term abuse of Percocet are:

  • Dependence
  • Tolerance
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver Failure
  • Urinary retention
  • Cardiovascular problems

Percocet Overdose:

Percocet overdose can be very dangerous. Besides Oxycodone, which is an opioid, the drug contains acetaminophen. It is the opioid which drives the person to a level of an overdose but the acetaminophen component can do more rapid damage. The maximum allowed limit for one time is one gram of acetaminophen. Even at lower doses, acetaminophen can lead to a permanent liver damage and liver failure. Within few hours of toxic levels of acetaminophen, the micro level changes in the liver enter into a chain of irreversible changes and cell death. It is very important to immediately recognize the symptoms and start the treatment.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Sleepiness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sweating
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine
  • Shallow breathing
  • Cyanosis
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Coma

A gastric lavage is performed to remove the left-over traces from the stomach. Activated charcoal is also administered to remove the unabsorbed drug from the body.  An IV Naloxone is given in repeated doses, which acts as an antagonist to opioids. IV lines are maintained to give IV fluid and any disturbances in the electrolytes are corrected. Respiration, blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate are monitored continuously throughout the treatment. Laxatives are given for constipation. Other symptoms are also treated.

Planning an intervention for Percocet problem:

The biggest problem with addiction is the denial of the addict. Even if the person understands the negative consequences of the drug abuse, he is not ready to take some concrete steps towards ending it. Therefore, intervention becomes very important to make the person agreeable for the treatment options.

Intervention has certain steps that are to be followed. First is to make an intervention team, it should include the family members, friends, spouses, grandparents, children, employers, and the doctors. The next step is to schedule a suitable time for the intervention meeting. The environment of the selected location must be communicative and comfortable. At the meeting, everyone should present their points as for how the addiction of an individual has changed him or how has it affected their work or social relationships. The arguments should be made in a gentle manner but it should be influential to let the addict think about the adverse effects addiction has caused. There should be a specialist present in the meeting, who can make it more effective. Care should be taken as most addicts can become violent and aggressive. They have to be tackled in a professional way by the specialists. At the end, an enforcement plan should be made, which include the treatment strategies for the patient.