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Is Percocet An Opioid?

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

With more and more people abusing opioids, wondering whether your pain medication is an opioid is not uncommon. Prescription painkillers like Percocet are considered opioids. As part of this class of drugs, Percocet comes with a high potential for abuse and addiction.

Percocet is a type of pain drug that is created from acetaminophen and oxycodone. This medication is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Because of its opioid properties, Percocet is typically reserved for chronic pain that cannot be managed by other medications.

What Is An Opioid?

To better understand what makes Percocet an opioid, let’s first explore what an opioid is. Opioids are drugs that are derived from the opium poppy plant.

There are three different types of opioids: natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. Natural opioids are naturally occurring compounds of the poppy plant. Semi-synthetic and synthetic opioids are substances that are created in a lab environment.

Oxycodone, an ingredient in Percocet, is considered a synthetic opioid, making this drug part of the opioid family. Opioids like Percocet are considered Schedule II drugs by the FDA, meaning they have a high potential for dependence and addiction.

All opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. By doing so, they change the way the body and brain interpret pain. This can minimize the feelings of pain and act as a potent pain reliever.

Opioids also have a direct effect on the brain’s reward center. Taking opioids can produce intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria as well as relaxation and drowsiness. These effects are more intense when higher quantities of the drug are taken.

The effects of opioids on the body and brain can put individuals at risk for abuse and addiction. Even when taken as prescribed, opioids like Percocet can be habit-forming and cause physical dependence.

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Getting Help For Percocet Abuse And Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Percocet, seeking help is the best decision you can make. A formal treatment program is often recommended for overcoming opioid addiction.

Inpatient treatment programs are typically the most successful form of formal treatment. Inpatient programs require individuals to stay at the rehab facility for several weeks or months to undergo daily, intensive treatment. Many facilities provide customized plans for recovery to suit each patient’s needs.

To learn more about whether Percocet is an opioid and treatment options available for Percocet addiction, contact a treatment specialist today.

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
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