Causes & Effects of Percocet Addiction

Learn about percocet addiction, long & short-term symptoms of percocet abuse, and the causes & negative health effects of percocet addiction.

How is Percocet Made?

Percocet, often misspelled as percoset, is a semi-synthetic painkiller created in professional laboratories. It is made from a combination of the opioid oxycodone and acetaminophen. The most common Percocet pill contains 5 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen. Percocet can also come in the following dosages:

  • 2.5/325
  • 7.5/325
  • 7.5/500
  • 10/325
  • 10/650

Without the use of sufficient pharmaceutical knowledge and professional laboratory, it is relatively impossible to successfully make Percocet on one’s own.

How Do People Get High on Percocet?

Just like any other prescription drug, people can get high on Percocet by taking it in a manner other than normally prescribed. Whether this means taking more pills, taking the pills more frequently, or chewing the pills, they are all ways to get high. Other methods of getting high include smoking, snorting, and injecting Percocet, all which place the user at risk for overdose.

What Should I Not Mix With Percocet?

The following drugs can result in lethal overdose symptoms when combined with Percocet:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids: Vicodin, Oxycontin, Morphine, Codeine
  • Benzodiazepines and Barbituates (Anti-depressants, Anti-anxiolytics, muscle relaxants): Ativan, Valium, Librium, Klonopin, Xanax, Phenobarbital, and Seconal
  • Anti-histamines: Benadryl

Other drugs can also have detrimental health effects when taken with Percocet. They include:

  • Stimulants such as Cocaine or Meth: Taking stimulants with opioids is like playing tug-of-war with your heart—the opioid tells it to slow down and the stimulant tells your heart to speed up. This can lead to irregular heartbeats or even heart failure.
  • Drugs with Acetaminophen: Ingesting high amounts of acetaminophen is hard on your liver—and too much can result in liver toxicity. Since Percocet already contains so much Acetaminophen, users should diligently control intake of other medications with acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) as well as meds that could also be hard on the liver (aspirin). According to medical recommendations, the daily dose of acetaminophen should not exceed 4,000 mg.

What Are The Short-Term Effects of Percocet?

Common short-term effects of Percocet include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation and difficulty urinating
  • Slowed, irregular breathing

What are the Long-Term Effects of Percocet?

Long-term effects of Percocet include:

  • Constipation
  • Liver Damage from acetaminophen toxicity
  • Decreased levels of testosterone
  • Impaired sexual function
  • Tolerance
  • Addiction

What are the Overdose Effects of Percocet?

Overdose effects of Percocet are the effects of both acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen causes liver toxicity when taken in high amounts, and too much oxycodone can cause

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Extremely low heart rate
  • Coma
  • Death

How Long Does Percocet Stay in My System?

Percocet is a fast-acting drug with a short-half life. It doesn’t stay in the blood very long, and it can be detected in the urine for one to two days and even longer for chronic users.

How Long Do The Effects of Percocet Last?

Once consumed, Percocet works fairly quickly in the body. It can be felt within 15-20 minutes oral ingestion, reaches maximum effect in 30-60 minutes, and lasts around four to six hours.

The euphoric effects of Percoct is even shorter, although the duration varies considerably from person to person. A Percocet high may last anytime from minutes to hours, depending on the method of administration, dosage, and personal tolerance. After your body becomes tolerant, or used to the drug, the high lasts shorter and it takes more Percocet to produce the same high. By this time, the person will be at high risk for overdose—both from the oxycodone and acetaminophen.

How Much Percocet Can I Take Before I Risk Overdose?

Percocet can cause some pretty bad damage when overdosed: stopped breathing and stopped heartbeat are the most lethal effects. Roughly 40 mg of percocet can precipitate overdose in a person without any opioid tolerance. (Forty mg can be anything between 16 pills to 4 pills depending on the dosage.)

Because there are nearly 100 times more acetaminophen than oxycodone in a single Percocet pill, people are much more likely to overdose from acetaminophen than oxycodone. By the time a person manages to overdose from oxycodone, he or she would have long been in the hospital for liver toxicity.

The daily acetaminophen dosage should not exceed 4,000 mg, and no more than 1,000 mg at one time, which means no more than 2500 mg doses every 6 hours. Although 1000 mg of acetaminophen won’t kill an individual, chronic use will result in serious liver damage.

Can Percocet Kill You?

Yes, Percocet can kill you.

The amount of Percocet required to elicit fatal effects depends on personal body metabolism and tolerance. As stated before, it takes 40 mg of oxycodone before fatal overdose symptoms kick in, but the real danger lies in liver toxicity from the acetaminophen. A person may not take 7,000 mg of acetaminophen at once, but long-term ingestion of even low amounts of acetaminophen can be deadly. When tolerance is considered into the equation, a person can easily take too many pills in his or her efforts to achieve a high.

Percocet is a Schedule II drug, more addictive and more potent than Vicodin. Playing around with opioids is like playing with fire—dangerous, and potentially deadly. Even a deliberate, careful, one-time misuse can easily slip into a habit as addiction takes over.

How Do I Know If I'm Addicted to Percocet?

Addiction occurs when an individual continues to use Perocet despite the negative consequences. Other signs of addiction include:

  • Needing more of Percocet to achieve the same effect (tolerance)
  • Using more Percocet than intended
  • Unable to cut down or stop Percocet use
  • Spending more money than you have on Percocet
  • Continuing to get high despite the problems it causes
  • Depending on Percocet to relax or enjoy yourself
  • Neglects daily responsibilities
  • Others have expressed concern about your Percocet use
  • Feelings of guilt when using Percocet

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