Percodan is a prescription pain reliever narcotic. This drug is a combination of aspirin and Oxycodone. The drug is effective because it binds to the pain receptors in the brain and reduces the sensation of discomfort. Aspirin helps in the pain relieving process by further reducing the pain. This drug shares the same similarities of other opioid narcotics. It has a high risk of dependency ad abuse. Structurally it is different from illegal drugs like heroin and opium. This drug was very popular when it was first developed in the 1950’s. It was the most popular prescribed pain medications in history. There are even studies showing the dangerous of Percodan addiction as early as the 1960’s. As time progressed and new medications were being developed, Percodan was slowly replaced by Percocet. This happened because the use of acetaminophen instead of aspirin was considered safer since the aspirin prolongs the prothrombin time when overused. Prothrombin time is a test to measure how long it takes blood to clot and check for bleeding problems. An extended prothrombin time means an individual has potential for bleeding longer. If this drug is used with other types of blood thinners it can result in death or other major problems.

How Percodan Works

Aspirin works by reducing the amount of prostaglandins produced. Prostaglandin is a chemical compound that is a group of physiologically active lipids. They have diverse hormone-like effects in animals and have been found in almost every tissue in humans. Prostaglandins both sustain homeostatic functions and mediate pathogenic mechanism. As a result, aspirin decreases sensations of pain. In conjunction with Oxycodone, a powerful opioid analgesic creates a very powerful pain medication. It is a strong synthetic opiate. The combination of these two drugs acts on the central nervous system to reduce pain.

Developing a Percodan Addiction

Like other prescription opiates, Percodan addiction happens over a period of time; addiction is a progressive disorder. This drug is prescribed for those suffering from extreme pain. Many individuals are introduced to this medication because they are suffering discomfort from a cancer treatment. The drug is also prescribed for other issues as well. Elderly individuals are at more of a risk for developing a Percodan addiction and due to their age they have more a chance of overdose. They require lower doses as they age because their bodies are unable to metabolize the drug. They have a slower absorption into in the stomach and poor liver function. Therefore, as they age the drug will enter the bloodstream at higher dosages, which can have severe effects. Effects of this include blurred vision and attention and motor deficits. Unfortunately, since some of these side effects are common among the elderly they go unnoticed or unaddressed. This drug can be used for long term periods, but this increases the likelihood of dependency and addiction. Those who abuse this drug do so because of the feeling of pleasure that is experienced from its abuse; which includes complete state of relaxation and contentment.

Side Effects of Percodan Use

The side effects of Percodan use and abuse are similar to other prescription opiate narcotics. User’s experience: euphoria, drowsiness, tolerance, accidental injury, impairment of mental or physical abilities, lightheadedness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, constipation, blurred vision, and dizziness. The most dangerous side effect of Percodan is respiratory depression. Like other opiates, Percodan slows down the respiratory rate. Overdosing on Percodan can completely stop breathing, which can lead to serious damage or even death. Other symptoms of Percodan abuse/overdose include: circulatory collapse, stupor, cold and clammy skin, coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, hypertension and cardiac arrest.

Opioid Abuse

Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drug in the country. Since these drugs are so easy to get, and since common Percodan users are elderly, young adults are at high risk for abuse. Teenagers use their own medicine cabinets as drug dispensaries. If parents and grandparents are not vigilant in monitoring their prescriptions they could be providing their young children with drugs. The mood symptoms of opioid abuse are: depression, euphoria, anxiety, mood swings, and irritability. The behavioral symptoms of opioid addiction are: lying to others about amount used, hiding use, borrowing pills, stealing pills, doctor shopping, forging prescriptions, consistently losing prescriptions, hiding the drugs, drowsiness, track marks, financial problems, legal problems, and neglecting responsibilities. The physical symptoms of opioid addiction are: ‘nodding out’, dizziness, itching, nausea and vomiting, constipation, papillary constriction, hypotension, respiratory depression, headache, sweating, dry mouth, and physical tolerance. If you or anyone you know is suffering from one or more of these symptoms because of opioid use, then speak with a professional about getting help.

Co-Occurring Disorders

It is rare that substance abuse is not part of another mental issue. The most common co-occurring disorders are depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and other substance abuse. These issues can be a major contributing factor for the cause of the addiction or could be a result of the addition. In either case, co-occurring disorders help the addiction grow stronger. Many individuals begin using and abusing prescription drugs as a way to self-medicate themselves. It is imperative that individuals receive treatment for all issues involved in substance abuse.


Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in the United States. Prescription drugs are responsible for more injuries and deaths last year than motor vehicle accidents. Prescription drugs are now the most common gateway drug in the country as well. It is estimated that 9% of the adults in the country will abuse opioid narcotics. Records from the US Department of Justice state that over 13 million people used Oxycodone for recreational purposes. The United States is also the leader in consumption of prescription medications.

Getting Help for Percodan Addiction

The first step in getting help for Percodan addiction is to detect a problem. Detecting an addiction can be difficult since the side effects of Percodan abuse are similar to those of growing old. If any of the opioid symptoms are visible it is imperative to seek professional help. Opioid overdose is a leading cause of injury and fatality in the United States. Studies have shown that long-term inpatient, dual-diagnosis treatment is the best treatment for an opioid addiction. Addictions to prescription opiates are very dangerous and require unique and strategic rehabilitation. There are thousands of treatment centers and hotlines that are available to those seeking help and information. The best weapon in dealing with an addiction is knowledge; the more informed family/friends are of addiction the better prepared they are to combat it.