Side Effects of Percocet Abuse

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white pillsWhen it comes to painkillers like Percocet, more people are concerned about addiction than they are about side effects. In a study of opinions of consumers, covered by NPR, 36 percent of people were concerned about painkiller addiction, while only 30 percent were concerned with painkiller side effects.

That’s a shame, as painkillers like Percocet come with a number of very serious side effects, particularly in people who take the drug in dangerous and/or abusive patterns. If people knew more about what these side effects were, perhaps they wouldn’t even touch the drugs in the first place.

Common Difficulties

In 2012, prescribers wrote up 82.5 painkiller prescriptions per 100 people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who got a valid prescription for Percocet from a doctor probably got a piece of paper listing common side effects, and that sheet may have included warnings about:

All of these side effects are considered common, and they can impact people who take Percocet at reasonable doses prescribed by a doctor. Since people with addictions often take much higher doses, they may be at higher risk for these common side effects, too.

Specific Dangers

There are some side effects that hit only when people take massive doses of Percocet in an addictive or dangerous manner. For example, the narcotic ingredient inside of each Percocet pill can trigger an overdose in people who take too much. Deaths due to painkiller overdoses rose three percent between 2007 and 2011, according to a USA Today analysis, meaning that far too many people are losing their lives by taking too much painkiller at once.

Percocet must be processed by the liver, and at high doses, it can actually kill off liver cells altogether. That means people who don’t overdose on Percocet aren’t really safe, as they could still lose their lives to organ damage caused by drug abuse.

Addiction is also a very serious side effect among people who abuse Percocet, and it’s a very real possibility, too. The drug changes the way brain cells respond to one another and to the world outside. At high doses, brain cells can become so accustomed to and so damaged by Percocet that they don’t function well without the drug. That can keep people using even when they’d like to try something different.

Beating Side Effects

All of these issues are sobering and serious, but they’re certainly not inevitable. By working with a trained team of addiction support specialists, people hooked on Percocet can get the medical and psychiatric support they need in order to heal and live long and healthy lives.

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