Pain Home > Percocet Addiction

It's often hard to tell if someone taking Percocet has a problem with addiction. Mental illness, physical dependence, and other conditions can cause symptoms that mimic those of Percocet addiction. Signs to watch for include unexplained mood changes, an unexplainable lack of money, and secluded behavior. If you suspect that a loved one has an addiction to Percocet, tell his or her healthcare provider about your concerns.

Addiction to Percocet: An Overview

Percocet® (oxycodone/APAP) is a prescription pain medication. As a narcotic, it is a highly desired drug of abuse. Many people are addicted to the drug. However, signs of a Percocet addiction may be difficult to distinguish from other problems, such as inadequate pain control or mental illness.

Is It a Percocet Addiction or Something Else?

People whose pain is not adequately controlled often display signs that mimic an addiction to Percocet. For instance, if your prescription is not strong enough for your pain, you may display unusual changes in behavior due to the pain, or you may take your Percocet more frequently than prescribed. If you feel your pain is not adequately controlled, please discuss this with your healthcare provider. However, many people start down the slippery slope of addiction by using inadequate pain control as an excuse.
Mental illness can also cause symptoms that mimic signs of addiction.

Common Signs of Percocet Addiction

Most healthcare providers that prescribe or dispense Percocet watch for certain signs of addiction, such as:
  • Going through prescriptions too quickly
  • "Doctor shopping," which is seeing several different healthcare providers to obtain Percocet prescriptions or switching from one provider to another
  • Repeated reports of losing a prescription, having a prescription stolen, or needing a prescription early to go on vacation
  • Having a specific "favorite" narcotic drug (such as Percocet), and nothing else will do (or reporting "allergies" to all other alternatives).
Friends and family can also keep an eye out for other signs of an addiction to Percocet, such as:
  • An unexplainable lack of money
  • Changes in social circles, such as abandoning good friends and replacing them with new ones
  • Secluded behavior, often needing to spend large amounts of time alone
  • Stealing, lying, or other dishonest behavior
  • Unexplained changes in mood or behaviors.
There are also physical symptoms of an addiction, but these are nearly impossible to distinguish from the normal symptoms of simple Percocet dependence, which will occur with all cases of long-term Percocet use, including legitimate, non-abusive use.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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