Opioid abuse and addiction are severe problems in the United States. In 2021, about 8.7 million people reported abusing prescription opioids and 5.0 million were addicted to them.

Percocet is a commonly prescribed opioid with a high risk of misuse and addiction. This article will explore what to expect during the Percocet withdrawal timeline. You will learn what treatment is available to manage withdrawal symptoms and where to find substance abuse treatment.

Contact the First Step Behavioral Health specialists now to explore our treatment programs or schedule an intake evaluation.

What is Percocet?

Percocet is a potent prescription pain reliever. It contains oxycodone, which is an opioid, and acetaminophen. This combination of ingredients can effectively relieve moderate to severe pain. Doctors may prescribe it to patients after surgery or during treatment for other medical conditions.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies Percocet as a Schedule II drug. This means it has a medical purpose but carries a significant risk of misuse and addiction. Doctors often prescribe Percocet for a short period to reduce patients’ risk of becoming physically dependent on this drug.

Percocet Addiction: Signs and Symptoms

People may experience desirable side effects when taking Percocet, including relaxation and euphoria. These pleasurable effects may make people want to use it differently than prescribed. Some examples of Percocet misuse include:

  • Taking larger doses than prescribed
  • Taking Percocet more often than prescribed
  • Using it for a longer period than your doctor told you to
  • Taking it differently than prescribed, such as crushing and snorting your pills
  • Taking Percocet without a prescription

It is possible to develop symptoms of Percocet dependence, even when people take it as prescribed. Physical dependence and addiction are more common among those who misuse it.

Misusing Percocet can lead to tolerance. Tolerance occurs when your body becomes accustomed to a specific dose of a drug. People who develop tolerance to a specific dose of Percocet may need to take more to get the desired effects. This can lead to heavy use that results in physical dependence.

Some signs of Percocet misuse and addiction include:

  • Physical symptoms, including watery eyes, dilated pupils, and excessive yawning
  • Using more Percocet over time
  • Inventing symptoms so doctors will prescribe Percocet
  • Having multiple prescriptions for Percocet from more than one doctor
  • Neglecting responsibilities, hobbies, and relationships because of Percocet use
  • Experiencing legal, social, or financial trouble related to Percocet use

Once you develop a physical dependence on Percocet, it will be tough to stop using it on your own. Percocet abuse can cause changes in your brain and body that make it almost impossible to stop using opioids.

Most people who develop opioid use disorder require professional treatment programs that begin with a medical detox.

Percocet Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone with physical dependence on Percocet or other opioids suddenly stops taking these drugs, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Some common symptoms of Percocet withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Intense cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Stomach cramps
  • Excessive sweating
  • Depression and anxiety

While opioid withdrawal is rarely life-threatening, the intense symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be mentally and physically challenging. People have a high potential for relapse if they attempt to detox from opioids independently.

The Percocet Withdrawal Timeline

For many with opioid use disorder, a medically managed withdrawal program is the first step toward long-term recovery. Many addiction treatment programs begin with a medically-supported detox program to manage acute withdrawal symptoms.

Understanding the opioid withdrawal timeline can help you stay motivated during detox, even when the process is challenging. Here is an overview of what to expect during each stage of withdrawal.

The first 24 hours

Withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 24 hours after your last dose of Percocet. Many people experience physical symptoms, including:

  • Nausea
  • Body aches
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

Intense cravings are also common during this stage. People are at high risk of relapse. A relapse during detox is more likely to lead to opioid overdose.

Day two

Your symptoms are likely to intensify during the second day without Percocet. You may develop new symptoms, including stomach cramps, runny nose, and heavy sweating.

Day three

Your symptoms will continue to get worse as you enter your third day without opioids. You may develop new symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Flu-like body aches and fever may make you feel miserable. Many people relapse during this stage if they do not have consistent support and treatment.

Day four and beyond

Many people notice symptoms beginning to improve on the fourth day of detoxification. Over the next week, your symptoms will likely become much more manageable. However, anxiety, restlessness, and cravings may linger for several weeks.

Many factors, including the severity of your addiction and your health, can affect your withdrawal timeline. Supervision, support, and treatment are essential to a safe detox.

Percocet Detox Treatment

During an opioid detox program, you will receive medications, mental health treatment, and other support to ensure a safe, complete detoxification.

Your treatment team may provide medications like methadone or buprenorphine to reduce your cravings and help with detox.

Medical and mental health specialists will monitor your withdrawal symptoms and provide safe, effective treatments. In addition to medications to manage opioid cravings, your treatment plan may include:

  • Medications to reduce discomfort, support sleep, or manage other symptoms
  • Emotional support, including counseling and group support when appropriate
  • A safe, secure environment
  • Treatment for physical and mental health problems
  • Round-the-clock access to mental health and medical treatment
  • Exercise, nutrition support, mindfulness, and other holistic therapies

After completing a Percocet detox program, you must continue in a comprehensive treatment program. Participating in substance abuse treatment can help you address the complex roots of your substance abuse and learn to avoid relapse.

Find Help Now

If you or someone you love struggles with opioid abuse or addiction, effective treatment is available. Contact the First Step Behavioral Health specialists now to explore our holistic treatment programs or schedule an intake assessment.

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