Reading Time: 7 minutes
Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen) is an opioid painkiller prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain. However, it has a high potential for misuse, dependence, and addiction. If you have developed a Percocet addiction, Percocet treatment can help you begin on the road to recovery. There are many different types of care, including Percocet withdrawal treatment, also known as detox, Percocet overdose treatment, which occurs at a hospital, and Percocet addiction treatment programs, such as inpatient or outpatient facilities.
In this Article:
Signs You May Need Percocet Addiction Treatment
Although Percocet is therapeutic if taken exactly as directed, many people misuse it for its relaxing and euphoric effects. If you have misused Percocet (i.e., used it in a way other than how it was prescribed to you), there is a higher risk of developing an addiction, or opioid use disorder.1,2,3 An opioid addiction can be difficult to overcome without professional Percocet treatment.
While everyone’s Percocet addiction may present differently, there are some telltale signs that someone may be struggling with an addiction and could benefit from a Percocet treatment program. These signs may include:4
- Taking Percocet in larger amounts or over longer periods than originally intended
- Experiencing unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control Percocet use
- Feeling an intense urge or desire to use Percocet
- Continuing Percocet use despite its negative effects on work, school, or your relationships
- Using Percocet in hazardous situations, such as driving after taking it
- Continuing to use Percocet despite physical or mental health problems caused or exacerbated by use
- Spending a great deal of time obtaining and using Percocet, as well as recovering from its effects
- Requiring higher doses to feel the same effects (tolerance)
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you abruptly reduce or stop use (withdrawal)
If you are concerned that you or someone you know is struggling with a Percocet addiction, call our confidential helpline at 800-926-9037 (Who Answers?) to speak to a rehab support specialist who can help you find a program.
The Connection Between Tolerance and Overdose Risk
Having a tolerance to Percocet increases the risk of overdose (high toxic level in the body) because you are likely to take higher and higher doses to feel the same effects. Seek immediate medical help if you overdose on Percocet, as it can be life-threatening.
Signs of an opioid overdose include:5
- Slow breathing
- Bluish-colored lips and fingernails
- Cold, damp skin
- Going in and out of consciousness
For Percocet overdose treatment, medical professionals administer naloxone (Narcan), a life-saving medication that rapidly reverses the effects of a Percocet overdose.6 However, Narcan does not last long, so they may need to administer more than one dose if the person begins to overdose again. At the hospital, patients will be monitored for any potential complications. Once they’re stabilized, the medical team can help refer them to a formal addiction treatment program to help them quit misusing Percocet and avoid overdoses in the future.
Percocet Withdrawal Treatment
Chronic Percocet misuse can lead to physiological dependence, which means the body has adapted to the presence of this opioid and requires it to avoid withdrawal, which involves uncomfortable, painful symptoms. It’s important to note that you can become dependent on this prescription opioid even if you take it as prescribed. In those situations, your doctor will taper you off of the medication, slowly reducing your dose over a predetermined schedule in order to prevent acute Percocet withdrawal.
However, if you abuse Percocet or have an addiction to this opioid, your withdrawal symptoms are likely to be much more severe and will require Percocet withdrawal treatment in the form of professional detox.
Percocet withdrawal symptoms may include:7
- Restlessness or anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose or teary eyes
- Profound sweating
- Goose bumps
Percocet withdrawal treatment, or detox, typically includes opioid withdrawal medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine. These medications relieve Percocet withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings while the opioid leaves your body. As with Percocet overdose treatment, once you are stabilized, the treatment team may refer you to inpatient or outpatient care.
Types of Treatment for Percocet Addiction
The treatment path and timeframe best suited for you depends on your level of misuse of Percocet or how severe of an OUD you are struggling with.9
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Percocet Addiction
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) involves the ongoing use of an opioid addiction medication in combination with counseling or therapy to maintain abstinence from Percocet. Research shows that people who participate in MAT are more likely to stay in treatment than those who do not.8
Medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid addiction include:10
- Suboxone (a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone)
Before choosing the right opioid addiction medication for you, the doctor will conduct an evaluation of your physical and mental health, as well as substance use history. It’s typically recommended that someone receive MAT for at least one year; however, people may take medication longer if necessary.8
The benefits of medication-assisted treatment for Percocet addiction include:
- Reduced cravings
- Reduced risk of relapse
- Improve rates of patient survival
- Increase treatment retention
- Improve birth outcomes among pregnant people with opioid use disorders
- Enhance patient’s ability to gain and maintain employment
Though herbal treatments may seem appealing for those recovering from a Percocet addiction, it is important to note that they do not have support from clinical trials. They can also cause severe toxicity and the cause for the toxicity, as well as how the body metabolizes them, is not well known.11
Inpatient, or Residential Rehabilitation
Inpatient or residential rehabilitation (rehab) involves living at the facility anywhere from 1-12 months. This would be an appropriate treatment setting if in addition to Percocet addiction someone also:9
- Struggles with addiction to another substance
- Struggles with a mental health disorder
- Has unsuccessfully tried to stop or cut down on Percocet in the past
- Has triggers for Percocet use in their day-to-day life that could work against recovery
- Lacks social support
Inpatient rehab centers offer comprehensive care under one roof that typically includes medication treatment, and individual, family, and/or group therapy. These rehab centers have a team of medical professionals that works with you, such as doctors and nurses, and mental health care professionals. Treatment staff may include:9
- Psychiatrists, who are medical doctors that specialize in psychiatric disorders. They typically prescribe and monitor medications such as anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications.
- Psychologists, who have advanced degrees in psychology and provide assessment and therapy.
Other mental health therapists may include:
- Licensed clinical social workers
- Licensed marriage and family therapists
- Licensed chemical dependency counselors
- Licensed substance abuse counselors
Psychological Therapies for Percocet Addiction
Therapy styles that are common in Percocet addiction treatment include motivational enhancement therapy (MET) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).8,12 Therapists often use a combination of different therapy styles in their work.
MET involves helping you to overcome conflicting feelings about your Percocet use. This is often a common struggle with addiction because you want to stop your use of Percocet because of the negative impacts on your life, and at the same time, a part of you doesn’t want to stop using it because of the “high.” MET helps you work through those conflicting feelings to get closer to making the changes you want to make.
CBT involves exploring your feelings associated with Percocet use and how your thought processes lead to those feelings. By identifying the thought processes, you can work in therapy to alter them and in turn, have more control over the feelings that may lead to Percocet use.
Family and group therapy benefits include education on addiction, support from others also struggling with addiction, and working on interpersonal communication and understanding.
Outpatient Treatment and Holistic Interventions
Outpatient rehab programs involve living at home and attending treatment sessions at a facility. Outpatient can range in intensiveness, with standard outpatient being the least structured with just a few hours of care per week and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) including 3-7 days of treatment per week, for several hours at a time.
Outpatient rehab is a good option if you:9
- Are motivated to quit using Percocet
- Have a strong support network
- Require the flexibility of a program that will work around your schedule
- Have a mild addiction
Like inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab also has comprehensive care, including medication and therapy.
Recovery Support After Treatment
After you complete your inpatient or outpatient Percocet treatment program, you’ll want to continue receiving ongoing recovery support in the form of aftercare, which involves relapse prevention options.
Common aftercare options include:
- Sober living homes
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- SMART Recovery
- Individual therapy
- Outpatient treatment (step-down care)
Sober living homes might be a fitting follow-up option for someone who first goes through an inpatient or residential rehab program and doesn’t feel ready to return home, where there may be opioid-using triggers. Sober houses are alcohol- and drug-free places where people stay for about 3-12 months.9
If you are ready to start treatment for Percocet addiction but are not sure where or how to begin, how to pay for treatment, or where to find a program, please call us at 800-926-9037 (Who Answers?) . Our caring staff is dedicated to helping you every step of the way.
- Vadivelu, N., Kai, A.M., Kodumudi, V., Sramcik, J., & Kaye, A.D. (2018). The opioid crisis: A comprehensive overview. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 22.
- National Institutes of Health. (2019). Archived medication guide.
- University of California Santa Barbara. (n.d.) Opioids information.
- Substance-related and addictive disorders. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed)
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2018). Opioid overdose. MedlinePlus.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2021, April 2). Opioid Overdose Reversal with Naloxone (Narcan, Evzio).
- Opioid Withdrawal. (2013). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed)
- Schuckit, M.A. (2016). Treatment of opioid-use disorders. The New England Journal of Medicine, 375(4), 357-368.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). What is substance abuse treatment? A booklet for families.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019). Information about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
- Ward, J., Rosenbaum, C., Hernon, C., McCurdy, C.R., & Boyer, E.W. (2011). Herbal medicines for the management of opioid addiction. CNS Drugs, 25, 999-1007.
- Dugosh, K., Abraham, A., Seymour, B., McLoyd, K., Bhalk, M., & Festinger, D. (2016). A systematic review on the use of psychosocial interventions in conjunction with medications for the treatment of opioid addiction. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 10, 91-101.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, June 3). Types of Treatment Programs.