The Dangerous Effects of Percocet Abuse
Percocet is an opioid pain medication that contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone. It is also a narcotic that affects the brain and central nervous system which can impair thinking and reactions. Percocet is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act and has a high potential for abuse. Like morphine, and other opiods, the oxycodone content in Percocet is what produces the euphoric feelings that people seek to abuse. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, “In 2013, 58.8 million oxycodone prescriptions were dispensed.” Percocet may be less potent than some of the other oxycodone medications, but it is, still, a chosen drug for addictive use.
Percocet abuse potentials are comparable to other opioid abuses. It is prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain but, these medications are often, illegally, diverted to others who use them for unintended purposes such as getting “high”. Taking too much Percocet or more often than prescribed is considered abuse, and this may lead to a tolerance where more of the drug is needed to achieve the desired effect. Percocet is meant to be taken orally, but sometimes it is snorted where it immediately produces a “rush” as it is absorbed, more quickly, through membranes in the nose. Percocet abuse can lead to physical dependence which can lead to a number of other physical and psychological dangers.
The oxycodone content in Percocet can lead to physical dependence in just a few days and withdrawals will occur when usage stops. Those who abuse Percocet in abnormally high amounts or frequency can build a tolerance which requires more of the drug to achieve the same effect and this can lead to addiction. Those who abuse Percocet, run the risk of adverse physical problems including overdose, acetaminophen toxicity, liver damage, organ failures, respiratory infections, cardiovascular problems and hepatic disorders. Acetaminophen or Paracetamol toxicity is a major concern for Percocet abuse. It causes liver failure and can be fatal and is one of the most common causes of poisoning in the world.
Percocet changes the ways the brain functions and reacts on the central nervous system. Percocet abuse can have adverse effects on the central and peripheral nervous systems. It can cause lethargy, stupor, anxiety, agitation, confusion, tremors, mental impairments, and seizures. Over time, the disruptions within the brain’s communications system can lead to abnormal behaviors or the user may suffer other psychological problems such as depression, insomnia, hallucinations, or suicidal tendencies.