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Long-Term Dangers of Percocet Abuse

What are the long-term dangers of Percocet abuse? What will it do to your body and your mind over time? Is Percocet addiction dangerous, and can it be stopped?

Percocet is a prescription medication that contains both oxycodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen. Oxycodone is an addictive and potent painkiller, typically prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Acetaminophen is a non-narcotic pain reliever that does not require a prescription and is used to treat mild, short-term pain (like headaches or menstrual cramps).

Percocet is generally prescribed to treat chronic pain and can cause a wide range of serious side effects if taken other than as prescribed. Unfortunately, Percocet is amongst the most commonly abused prescription medications in the United States. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that in 2020, an estimated 16.1 million Americans over 12 abused prescription medications at least once. NIDA also reported that during the same year, roughly 9.3 million Americans had abused prescription painkillers within the past year. Potent painkillers like Percocet can be extremely dangerous when misused. Long-term abuse frequently leads to addiction, which can seriously and permanently damage an individual’s overall health and severely compromise their way of life.

Side Effects of Percocet Addiction

Even when taken as prescribed by a medical professional, Percocet can result in mild to moderate side effects. These side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness and disorientation

If you were prescribed Percocet, more mild side effects would generally subside within several days. However, those who continuously experience side effects or are prone to drug abuse may want to look into different options for pain relief. In addition, more severe side effects can occur when the drug is taken in greater quantities than prescribed or if an individual is allergic to Percocet. Some of the more severe physical side effects of Percocet abuse or a drug-related allergy might include (but are not limited to):

  • Fatigue
  • Hypothermia
  • Chest pain with a slowed heartbeat
  • Issues with urinating or unusually dark urine
  • Problems breathing, respiratory issues
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Insomnia, disturbances to sleep patterns
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite, which will lead to weight loss

Because Percocet is initially prescribed by a medical professional, it may be perceived as a “safer” alternative to other chemical substances. However, the truth is Percocet has the potential to cause just as much damage as illicit substances when it is abused. Furthermore, negative consequences will worsen the longer the drug is abused, including physical, mental, emotional, and personal consequences. Fortunately, if you or someone you love is struggling with Percocet abuse or addiction, we at Absolute Awakenings can help. Our comprehensive and highly individualized addiction recovery program caters to both men and women who have suffered at the hands of a Percocet dependency of any severity.

Long-Term Dangers of Percocet Dependency

Some long-term symptoms of Percocet abuse include:

  • Building a tolerance means greater amounts of the drug will be required to produce the same effects. Therefore, tolerance is a good indication of addiction.
  • Liver problems, kidney failure, and damage to other crucial organs.
  • The weakening of bones; osteoporosis.
  • Decreased sex drive and compromised testosterone levels (in men).
  • Severe constipation and ongoing gastrointestinal issues may become permanent if not adequately treated promptly.

There are many serious dangers involved in long-term Percocet abuse. Therefore, those struggling with addiction must seek professional medical help as quickly as possible. The withdrawal symptoms associated with Percocet detox can also be severe. Thus medical detox is a crucial first step for those abusing this prescription medication. Once physically stabilized, an individual will transfer directly to an inpatient treatment program for between one and three months, depending on the severity of the addiction and other personal needs and requirements. To learn more about Absolute Awakenings and our program of Percocet addiction recovery, or to learn more about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, give us a call today. We look forward to hearing from you soon and doing all we can to get you started on your journey of addiction recovery as quickly as possible.


  1. Percocet: Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Warnings. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  2. Oxycodone Uses, Dosage & Side Effects. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  3. Acetaminophen Uses, Dosage & Side Effects. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. What is the scope of prescription drug misuse in the United States? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Published June 2020. Accessed January 22, 2023.

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At Absolute Awakenings, we take information integrity seriously. We have dedicated our resources to ensure that all content published to our blog is medically sound. As such, all content on our blog has been thoroughly reviewed by a doctorate level clinician such as a Medical Doctor, or Psy.D, so that you can trust all of the data we publish.

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