The Basics of Percocet Rehabilitation

This guide was written to provide an overview of the Percocet rehabilitation process, as well as to offer helpful resources for persons recovering from Percocet addiction.

When beginning rehabilitation, a physical exam and questions about your medical history and drug use are standard. Tests to confirm opiate use and for other medical conditions, such as issues with your heart or liver function, may occur. Withdrawal can be severe and potentially dangerous, so an effective treatment program for Percocet addiction often includes medication-assisted detox, inpatient treatment with behavioral interventions and counseling, screening for potential co-occurring mental health and medical disorders, and long-term support.

Recovery for Percocet abuse is enhanced with therapy and medications, especially during detox, which is the most physically difficult step in the recovery process. Undergoing medical detox with a medical professional is always recommended to ensure you remain as safe and comfortable as possible throughout the process. Once your body has completely detoxed, rehabilitation focuses on treating the mental addiction to opioids.

Dependence on opioids is a complex health condition that often requires long-term treatment, including counseling, individual and family therapy, education, and support groups. Relapse after detox can be especially dangerous and increases your risk for a fatal overdose, because your body has lost its tolerance to the drug.

the four steps of rehab process

What Makes Percocet Rehabilitation Difficult?

Percocet is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it’s currently accepted for medical use but has a high potential for abuse that may lead to severe physical or psychological dependence. According to the 2019 World Drug Report, there were an estimated 53 million people globally ages 15 to 64 who had used opioids at least once in 2017, and one quarter of these opioids users resided in North America.

Repeated use or abuse of an opioid-based drug like Percocet can change the way your brain chemistry works, leading to physical and psychological dependence to the point that your body doesn’t feel normal without the drug in your system. The physical and mental dependence of opioid addiction includes a powerful, compulsive urge to continue using the drug and makes it difficult to overcome the craving to take more, even when you’re resolved to quit. Stress, psychological conditioning, and genetic predisposition can make quitting even harder, and long-lasting cravings can lead to relapse months or even years after you overcome dependency on the drug.

The Unique Struggle of Percocet Addicts
  • affects the reward system in the brain, causing a euphoric feeling
  • use over long periods can cause you to develop a tolerance that requires higher and/or more frequent doses to get the same effects
  • creates mental and physical dependence with severe withdrawal symptoms when you quit
  • addiction can be difficult to overcome because of changes in your brain that make you crave the drug even when you’re committed to quit
  • can be addictive even when taken as prescribed

Percocet Rehabilitation Statistics

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that:

  • 26,392,000 people ages 12 or older, or 9.6% of the population in this age bracket, used products containing oxycodone in 2018.
  • 3,374,000 people ages 12 or older, or 1.2% of the population in this age bracket, misused products containing oxycodone in 2018.
  • 33,301 people ages 12 or older were admitted for treatment in 2017 for oxycodone addiction.

Opiates Treatment Admissions by Gender

52.7% Male
47.3% Female

Demographics of Individuals Seeking Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction

According to a 2017 SAMHSA report that charts admissions to and discharges from publicly funded substance use treatment facilities, men are more likely to seek treatment for abuse of opiates found in prescription pain relievers like Percocet. The gender breakdown of treatment admissions for opiates, not including heroin, was 52.7% male and 47.3% female. While opiate addiction occurs in all age groups, the most common age group admitted to a treatment facility for opiate use was individuals aged 25 to 34, with 35 being the average age of all individuals from all age groups who sought rehabilitation.

Opiates Treatment Admission Percentages by Age Group, 2017
Age at the Time of Treatment Admission Percentage of Opiates Treatment Admissions
12-17 0.4%
18-24 10.4%
25 – 34 44.9%
35 – 44 25.4%
45-54 12.1%
55-64 5.9%
65+ 0.9%

Percocet Detoxification & Withdrawal Process

Long-term recovery for Percocet addiction begins with detoxification after you stop taking the drug and doesn’t end until the substance is cleared from your body and withdrawal symptoms have ceased. Detox is often the most difficult part of quitting Percocet, because withdrawal symptoms can be intense.

For short-acting opiates like Percocet, early symptoms may occur within 6 to 12 hours of stopping use and include agitation, anxiety, excessive yawning, fever, hypertension, insomnia, muscle aches, racing heart, runny nose, sweating, and tearing up. Later symptoms usually peak within 72 hours, last a week or longer, and can include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, goosebumps, stomach cramps, depression, and drug cravings.

Unassisted withdrawal may not be life threatening, but it can be very uncomfortable. Without professional medical treatment to help relieve withdrawal symptoms, you may be more vulnerable to relapse. The cravings for the opioids in Percocet may persist much longer than a week, possibly lasting for months or even years after you’ve overcome physical dependence on the drug.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Body Mind
Short-Term Symptoms Headaches
Nausea and/or vomiting
General feelings of discomfort
Muscle aches
Racing heart
Runny nose
Long-Term Symptoms Stomach cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Higher sensitivity to pain

Percocet withdrawal may require assistance from medical professionals

Medical-assisted detoxification is always recommended, along with mental health support and medical monitoring. Medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, may be prescribed to assist with detox, minimize cravings, and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Anti-anxiety or anti-nausea drugs may also be prescribed to address specific withdrawal symptoms.

Tapering off Percocet may reduce withdrawal symptoms to increase the likelihood of a successful recovery

Treating Percocet addiction requires a multistep process that slowly tapers you off the oxycodone. This process gradually reduces the amount you take and helps prevent relapse. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and dangerous, so medical professionals warn that you should never quit cold turkey.

Possible complications of Percocet withdrawal include accidental overdose

The biggest complication of Percocet withdrawal is relapsing. If you go back to using Percocet after your body has detoxed and lost its tolerance for the drug, you’re at a high risk of overdosing on a much smaller dose than what you used to take.

Percocet Detoxification Medications

Methadone has been used to relieve withdrawal symptoms during Percocet detoxification and as a long-term maintenance medicine for opioid dependence. Buprenorphine also helps with withdrawal and may shorten the length of detox. Buprenorphine may be combined with naloxone to help prevent future misuse and dependence. Clonidine and other medicines may also be used during detox to reduce specific symptoms, especially nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and insomnia. Naltrexone may be used to help prevent relapse by acting as an opiate-blocking agent.

For more information about withdrawal, read our guide on Percocet addiction.

Treatment for Percocet Addiction

Effective treatment for Percocet addiction often includes medical detox, inpatient treatment, and long-term support. The FDA approves several pharmaceuticals for medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction. This is especially important during detox, which can be the most difficult part of the process due to intense Percocet withdrawal symptoms.

Medication-assisted therapy may reverse some of the changes in the brain caused by addiction to opioids, which enhances counseling and behavioral therapies. Incorporating a variety of medications into your therapy may help normalize brain chemistry and bodily functions, block the euphoric effects of opioids, relieve cravings, and help sustain recovery.

Rehabilitation Settings

Within either an inpatient or outpatient setting, treatments such as detoxification services, behavioral therapies, and medication are offered for varying lengths of time.

Inpatient treatment involves living full-time (including overnight) at a treatment facility for a set period of time. Outpatient treatment involves scheduled appointments at a facility in which you are free to come and go. Within each category, there are several distinctions.

Percocet Treatment Programs
Setting Type of Treatment Description Duration Time Commitment
Inpatient Short-Term Residential Intensive treatment, sometimes in a hospital setting. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:

Days Per Week:


Long-Term Residential Intensive treatment in a nonhospital setting, most often a therapeutic community with other patients. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-12 months Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Partial Hospitalization Intensive treatment in a hospital setting. Patients do not stay overnight. Considered inpatient due to the hospital setting. Extensive services are provided and require a near full-time commitment every week. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 14-30 days Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Outpatient Intensive Day Treatment Extensive services of an inpatient program, but patients return home each day following treatment. After completion, patients often transition to less intensive counseling. Therapies offered are extensive. Medication-assisted treatment is available to those who qualify. 3-4 months Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Counseling Both individual counseling and group counseling focus on short-term behavioral goals to develop coping strategies. Therapies offered are moderate. Medication-assisted treatment is not available. As long as desired Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Support Groups Support groups center on maintaining abstinence after another form of treatment. Typically meet one day a week for 1-2 hours. As long as desired Hours Per Day:


Days Per Week:


Behavioral and Medication-Assisted Therapies

Behavioral therapy for substance addiction seeks to identify and manage addictive behaviors that lead to use and prevent relapse. Behavioral therapy is based on the concept that all behavior is learned, and, thus, unhealthy behavior can be changed through learning coping skills and increasing awareness of negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to substance abuse.

Medication-assisted therapy greatly enhances the effectiveness of behavioral therapy by directly offsetting or reversing some of the brain changes accompanying Percocet addiction. Medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are FDA-approved for the treatment of opioid addiction and may be used at different times throughout treatment and recovery, especially during detox. These medications can help manage withdrawal and prevent relapse when used and are often used in addition to behavioral therapies.

Behavioral Therapies for Percocet Addiction
Type of Therapy Definition
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Further reading:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) equips Percocet users with therapeutic tools and coping strategies to stop abuse and prevent relapse. CBT helps you recognize and stop negative patterns of thinking and behavior and teaches you skills to help cope with stress and what causes you to abuse opioids.
Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives


Further reading:

Contingency Management (CM) is a behavioral treatment designed to encourage healthy behaviors by providing positive reinforcement when you abstain from using opioids, attend counseling, and stay in treatment. Reaching these and other goals are rewarded with various items, such as monetary awards, prizes, and privileges.
Relapse Prevention


Further reading:

Relapse Prevention (RP) emphasizes analysis of cues for Percocet use and learning alternative responses to these cues. RP helps you identify and prevent high-risk situations in which you’re more likely to use opioids and challenges you to use psychoeducation to make more informed and healthier choices in these situations.
Medication-Assisted Therapies for Percocet Addiction
Type of Medication Therapy Definition
Agonist Drugs


Further reading:

Methadone is a common agonist drug and may effectively replace Percocet to decrease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It acts on the same areas of the brain as opioids but without making you feel high. It also helps restore balance in the parts of the brain affected by your addiction. Methadone can also be used for long-term maintenance and help your brain heal to assist with your recovery.
Partial Agonist Drugs


Further reading:

Partial agonist drugs like buprenorphine can decrease withdrawals and cravings and may shorten the length of detox. Like methadone, these medications target the same areas of the brain as opioids without making you feel high. They also help restore the parts of the brain affected by addiction and may be used for long-term maintenance. Buprenorphine may also be used with naloxone to help prevent future misuse and dependence.
Antagonist Drugs


Further reading:

Antagonist drugs containing naltrexone are used to prevent relapse. They work by taking away the high you would normally get when taking opioids. To avoid sudden and severe withdrawal symptoms, you must be off opioids for at least 7 to 10 days to ensure you don’t have any in your system before taking antagonist drugs.
Medications for Specific Symptoms


Further reading:

These can include a variety of medications that treat vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, among other symptoms. Clonidine is a common choice and helps to reduce anxiety, cramping, and muscle aches.

How to Find Help

Finding a Rehabilitation Center for Percocet Addiction

When looking for a rehabilitation center for Percocet addiction, it’s important to find one that can provide medication-assisted therapy for detoxification and evidence-based therapeutic services customized to each individual. For moderate to heavy abusers of Percocet, inpatient rehabilitation can provide a structured environment that helps eliminate the possibility of relapse. It’s also beneficial to individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and personality issues. To ensure lasting recovery from Percocet addiction, treatment should also include discharge planning and continuing care services.

Our Directory

Our directory of rehab programs includes a comprehensive list of available treatment centers and programs as provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In the directory, you will find tools to filter the programs by setting, price, and location.