Percocet is the trade name for a prescription painkiller that consists of a combination of oxycodone (the narcotic that is most commonly associated with OxyContin) and the mild pain reliever acetaminophen (commonly known as the primary active ingredient in the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol).
Percocet is used under physician supervision for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain. Percocet has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States since 1976.
When taken under the direction of a qualified healthcare provider, Percocet is ingested orally, usually in tablet or liquid form. When Percocet is abused or otherwise illicitly used, the drug is sometimes chewed or crushed into a powder and then snorted).
Taking Percocet as part of an appropriate course of treatment under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider does not put an individual at significant risk for developing an addiction to Percocet. However, tolerance and dependency are not uncommon results from extended Percocet use – and thus the illicit or unsupervised use of Percocet can be accompanied by significant risks.
The recreational use of Percocet (or the unapproved use of Percocet in an illicit attempt to self-medicate) significantly increases an individual’s risk of developing an addiction to Percocet. Symptoms of Percocet addiction include the following:
- Becoming obsessed with Percocet, to the point that a person is expending considerable time, energy and effort thinking about, pursuing and using the drug.
- Continuing to use Percocet even after experiencing significant negative effects (such as financial ruin, relationship problems and damage to one’s employment status) as a result of the Percocet use.
- Lying about or hiding the amount of Percocet that is used.
Individuals who are addicted to Percocet will experience painful (and potentially dangerous) physical and psychological effects as well as intense cravings for the drug when they are unable to acquire and use Percocet.
The primary withdrawal period for Percocet-dependent individuals usually lasts about seven days, though it can continue for as long as two weeks. Lingering but less intense Percocet withdrawal symptoms can last for many months after use has been discontinued.
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