Percocet, a combination formula containing oxycodone and acetaminophen, is a prescription opioid that is effective in providing pain-relief for those who take it as directed, but due to its euphoric and calming properties, it has a high potential for abuse and addiction 1. When someone develops an addiction to Percocet and dramatically decreases or stops using completely, it is likely they will experience distressing withdrawal symptoms, which can lead to continued use and derail recovery efforts 1. A Percocet detox program can provide you with the care you need to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings while the opioid is eliminated from the body.
This article will cover the following Percocet detox information:
- Percocet addiction.
- What is detox?
- Is detox necessary?
- Percocet withdrawal syndrome.
- What is detox like?
- What happens after detox?
Percocet is an opioid painkiller and is a Schedule II controlled substance due to its high potential for misuse and abuse 1. It can create a pleasurable high similar to other opioids, such as heroin, when used in a manner other than prescribed. People often abuse Percocet by taking more than prescribed, crushing and snorting the pills, or dissolving them in water and injecting them. Abusing Percocet can speed up the development of tolerance, or a need for higher doses of the drug to experience desired effects. As the user takes more and more Percocet, the risk of adverse consequences, such as overdose, dependence, and addiction, increases as well.
Over time, Percocet use can progress into dependence, a situation wherein the body requires Percocet in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. While dependence is not the same as addiction, an increasing level of dependence can fuel compulsive Percocet use and ultimately influence the development of a Percocet addiction. Once an individual is addicted to Percocet, it can be very difficult to quit without formal treatment due to the painful withdrawal symptoms and strong urge to continue using.
What is Detox?
Professional detox programs vary, but will generally consist of a group of interventions aimed at managing withdrawal symptoms and acute intoxication, if applicable. The goal of detoxification is to minimize the physical consequences of Percocet abuse and addiction by providing patients with medical and psychiatric monitoring and support.
It is important that treatment and detox be tailored to the specific needs of the individual 2. Detox can occur in a variety of settings with varying levels of intensiveness. A detox program should be selected based on its suitability for someone’s specific situation. Examples of detox settings include 2:
- Short-term detox programs.
- Inpatient or residential centers.
- Outpatient facilities.
- General hospital.
Many detoxification facilities utilize medications to ease the painful symptoms of withdrawal, curb cravings, and make the transition into sobriety easier. In addition to medications, detox programs typically provide patients with around-the-clock medical supervision and management of physical health issues, and clinical support services from psychiatric professionals 2.
Detox is an important first step to take toward sobriety, but detox alone provides little formal treatment to address the underlying influences of Percocet addiction and help individuals remain sober after withdrawing from Percocet 2. It is especially important to follow up with additional treatment to ensure long-term recovery.
Throughout detox, treatment professionals collaborate with patients to formulate a treatment plan that meets the specific needs of each individual to overcome Percocet abuse or Percocet addiction 2. Ongoing treatment can involve inpatient or outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation, individual therapy, and/or self-help meetings or support groups to strengthen recovery and prevent relapse.
If you or someone you love has an addiction to Percocet or other drugs, don’t hesitate to call our helpline at 1-888-241-8971. Our treatment support advisors can assist you in finding a detox or treatment program.
Is Detox Necessary?
Unlike alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal, Percocet withdrawal syndrome is rarely associated with fatal outcomes. While it is not absolutely necessary to seek detox services, the care and supervision that they provide help to minimize the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings that, when left inadequately managed, could easily lead to relapse. Detox facilities provide 24-hour medical supervision, and most detox centers will provide medications to alleviate many of the painful withdrawal symptoms.
Percocet Withdrawal Syndrome
Someone who has developed an addiction to Percocet is likely to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms with the abrupt cessation of or reduction in use 3. These withdrawal symptoms are generally opposite to the acute effects of Percocet use (i.e. diarrhea during withdrawal vs. constipation during use) 3.
The withdrawal process can vary from person to person, with the type, intensity, and length of symptoms being influenced by different elements. These factors can include:
- The length of time the individual has been taking Percocet.
- The dose of Percocet that has been taken on a consistent basis.
- Whether other drug abuse is occurring as well.
- The presence of co-occurring medical or psychiatric disorders.
- The physiological makeup of the individual.
Withdrawal symptoms from Percocet are similar to other opioid painkillers and heroin, although not everyone experiences withdrawal syndrome the same way. The following is a list of typical Percocet withdrawal symptoms 1,3:
- Excessive yawning.
- Nervousness and anxiety.
- Insomnia or trouble staying asleep.
- Muscle and bone aches.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Excessive sweating.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach cramps.
- Goose bumps.
- Increased tearing of the eyes.
- Increased mucus production in the nose.
What is Detox Like?
Entering a detox program without knowing what to expect can be scary and a bit intimidating, but the caring and compassionate treatment staff is there to help you through this difficult process. The detox process typically consists of three main components, which are designed to keep you safe and comfortable while withdrawing from Percocet while preparing you for comprehensive addiction treatment. The three main phases of the detox process include 2:
- Evaluation: Evaluation occurs during the intake process, where a person is drug tested to discern what substances have been used recently. The intake evaluation will also screen for co-occurring mental or physical health conditions. The assessments are used to create an individualized detox protocol and treatment plan for the patient.
- Stabilization: Stabilization occurs when medical and addiction support staff work together to help stabilize a patient who is actively intoxicated or in withdrawal. Medications are often used to manage the more distressing symptoms of withdrawal. Patients are also informed of what is expected of them during detox and treatment. Treatment can involve family, friends, or loved ones to provide additional support if the patient agrees.
- Entry into a treatment program: The detox staff prepare the patient to transition into a treatment program, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive substance abuse treatment as a means of decreasing the risk of relapse and promoting abstinent behaviors.
There is no set length of time for detox. Since withdrawal is not the same for everyone, the period of time one needs to successfully detox can vary from a few days to several weeks 2. It all depends on the individual patient and their needs.
If you’re ready to take the first step on the road to recovery, call our helpline at 1-888-241-8971 to speak to a treatment support specialist about recovery and detox options.
What Happens After Detox?
Recovering from an addiction to Percocet involves much more than just drug detox, and continued treatment can facilitate long-term sobriety 2. In order to maintain abstinence in the long run, individuals need to learn various relapse prevention skills and rectify maladaptive, drug-seeking behaviors. These things can be achieved in different treatment settings, such as:
- Inpatient treatment: Which occurs at a residential facility. Patients receive intense therapy in both individual and group settings and, in many locations, 24-hour medical and psychiatric supervision is available.
- Outpatient treatment: Which allows individuals to live at home and continue to engage in their usual daily routine while receiving treatment in group and individual sessions, as well as medical or psychiatric care if needed. Outpatient programs can vary in intensiveness; some require a commitment of 5 days a week for several hours each day, while others meet 1-2 times per week for a couple hours at a time.
- Luxury treatment: Which occurs in exclusive, private, residential settings. This option is far more expensive than standard inpatient treatment due to the resort-like setting and posh amenities, such as gourmet meals, swimming pools, massage therapy, spa treatment, and golf.
- Executive treatment: Which is tailored to business executives who require access to phones and computers to continue working while still receiving high-quality treatment for Percocet addiction. Some executive facilities also provide posh amenities to make each patient feel comfortable.
- Holistic treatment: Which addresses the addiction through therapies to nurture the mind, body, and spirit, such as yoga, exercise, music and art therapy, acupuncture, biofeedback, nutrition counseling, and meditation.
- 12-step programs: Which include fellowship programs, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Pills Anonymous (PA)h2, are free to join. Members work through the 12 steps of recovery with the aid of supportive peers and a sponsor.
An addiction treatment program can help you to obtain and maintain sobriety by teaching you to utilize coping skills, avoid trigger situations, build sober social skills, and develop healthy alternatives to drug use. The goal of treatment is to address the underlying reasons for your drug use and to equip you with the strategies you need to avoid relapse.
If you or a loved one is looking to find a Percocet detox or recovery program, please call our helpline at 1-888-241-8971 today. Rehab support specialists are available to guide you through the various treatment options.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2010). Label: Percocet – oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen tablet.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2006). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment. Pp 4-5, 7, 66-74
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.