Percocet is an opioid medication that is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Some people abuse Percocet for its perceived ability to reduce their anxiety, enhance relaxation, and create feelings of euphoria. Regular users often build up a tolerance quickly, requiring higher doses to experience the same effects as before. The euphoric effects of Percocet combined with the rapid development of tolerance encourage increasingly higher doses of the drug, which places users at a high risk for developing dependence and, over time, addiction. If someone stops taking Percocet abruptly, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, which can be extremely uncomfortable.
Quitting Percocet Cold Turkey
When someone quits Percocet cold turkey, they will feel symptoms like muscle cramps, disruption of sleep, and diarrhea, among others. Withdrawal symptoms usually begin within 6-12 hours after the last dose, peak within 1-3 days, and resolve within 5-7 days. Some people may experience less acute withdrawal symptoms that can last for weeks to months. These include anxiety, depression, difficulty experiencing pleasure, and insomnia. The length of time it takes to withdraw from Percocet and the severity of symptoms you may experience will depend on:
- The length of time you used Percocet
- The average dose being taken prior to quitting
- Pre-existing medical conditions
Medical professionals don’t recommend quitting the drug cold turkey. Rather, they recommend a method called tapering, which lowers the dosage of Percocet over a period of time, at least 2 to 3 weeks, so that your body can adjust slowly and avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. A prescribing doctor can come up with a tapering schedule for you, and this way you can be medically supervised and avoid unnecessary withdrawal symptoms. Generally speaking, the dose should be decreased by 10% to 25% per week, with no more than a 50% decrease at any one time.
Risks of Quitting Cold Turkey
There are many adverse side effects to quitting Percocet cold turkey, and the fact is that most people don’t need to go through an immediate detox and risk serious discomfort. Some of the risks of quitting Percocet cold turkey are:
- rhinorrhea (runny nose)
- severe aches
Heavy users of Percocet may not want to quit the drug cold turkey. If someone has been addicted to Percocet for a few months a slow taper can also help mitigate symptoms.
We understand that many of our patients that come in with personal experiences of withdrawal having tried to get sober on their own. At Cypress Lakes, you will be under the supervision of registered nurses, medical doctors, trained addiction counselors and compassionate clinical staff that are available around the clock. If you want to learn more, contact us at 309 331 2204.