Phone Email

Percocet Statistics: A Prescription Drug Problem

Percocet is the trade name for a pill that includes a combination of oxycodone and paracetamol. Oxycodone is an opiate medication used to treat pain, and when sold alone is often known by the name OxyContin. It is used to treat severe, often chronic, pain. Paracetamol is an over-the-counter pain medication that is used for minor pain like that caused by headaches or other aches and pains. Paracetamol is also included in many cold medicines and is also known as Acetaminophen. The two are combined because the addition of Paracetamol makes it easier for the body to metabolize the oxycodone efficiently.

Percocet is a narcotic and is used to treat severe short-term pain. It was approved by the FDA in 1976, and today comes in six different dosages. It is a medication preferred by many medical professionals because it has a lower abuse potential than drugs like morphine. However, like any other opiate drug, Percocet has addiction potential of its own.

Percocet Statistics for Abuse and Addiction

Percocet addiction generally comes about in one of two ways. The first involves those who are legitimately prescribed Percocet. This may occur after an accident or serious injury. The person begins taking Percocet according to their prescription, but if this continues for 2-3 weeks there is the potential the body can become dependent upon the drug. There is also a serious mental component to this addiction, thus by the end of a few weeks those who began taking Percocet legitimately may experience strong cravings to take the drug more frequently.

The risk for this addiction is greatest among women and the elderly, although the statistics here may be a bit skewed. Women are prescribed Percocet more frequently than men (2-3 times more so), but this may be because women seek a doctor's help more frequently than men. Women are about twice as likely to develop a Percocet addiction, but this may be due to the difference in prescription rates. The elderly are prescribed Percocet more frequently than the rest of the population due to more physical problems. Thus, they are also more at risk for developing an addiction to the drug.

The population where Percocet addiction is increasing most rapidly, however, is in adolescents and young adults. This is also the group that most frequently isn't using the drug for medical reasons. Of course this also leads to a quicker progression to addiction.

Percocet addiction in those who have been prescribed the drug can be very insidious. The individuals taking the drug start off doing so legitimately, many have never had an addiction problem before in their lives. The drug use slowly progresses, so they have reached the point of physical dependence without even being aware of it. They may not even notice until they try to discontinue use of the drug, when they may experience withdrawal.

Percocet Withdrawal and Overdose

Opiates as a class are known to cause serious withdrawal problems and oxycodone is no different. When someone discontinues use of Percocet, they may experience a slew of uncomfortable physical and mental problems. These include: flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, muscle pain, fever, insomnia, nausea, sweating, anxiety, and depression. The effects are so uncomfortable that they often cause someone to seek out another dose of the drug.

When someone has progressed to Percocet addiction, they may begin taking the drug via an alternative route of administration. Instead of taking the pill orally, it may be crushed and snorted. When different routes of administration are used, or when Percocet is mixed with other drugs, there is an increased risk of overdose. When someone has taken too large a dose of Percocet they may experience: hypertension, cardiac arrest, coma, and stupor. Percocet overdose can be a deadly and serious circumstance.

Percocet statistics show that addiction is a major concern, even in those who begin taking the drug for legitimate purposes. Detoxing from Percocet is something that can be managed by a treatment clinic or medical professional in a way that allows someone to avoid many of the negative feelings associated with it. Increasing levels of Percocet use can be very dangerous, however, especially when mixed with other drugs. Anyone taking Percocet must be aware of the serious abuse potential represented by the drug.


  • One out of five students in the U.S. has used some type of inhalant to get high before the age of 13.
  • Marijuana is produced in practically every region of the world, and is also the most produced illicit drug in the world.
  • Nearly 7 million children under the age of 18 live in households with at least one parent who abuses alcohol.
  • The term "flipping" is used among Ecstasy users who mix the drug with other drugs, primarily because individuals who combine these types of drugs with Ecstasy will usually flip between a psychedelic state and a more lucid state several times during the course of their high.