Thursday April 17th 2014

Does Percocet get you high?

Yes. Percocet can get you high.

Percocet contains the narcotic pain medication oxycodone, which can create feelings of euphoria. We talk more about the psychoactive effects of Percocet and the dangers of Percocet abuse here. Your questions about Percocet are welcomed at the end.

What’s in Percocet?

Percocet is a painkilling medication that contains a combination of two drugs: oxycodone and acetaminophen. The opiate oxycodone is the part of the drug that causes a euphoric high, and also the addictive element in Percocet. Acetaminophen is a milder, non-addictive painkilling medication – it’s the active ingredient in Tylenol.

Percocet and euphoria

The reason people abuse Percocet is generally for its euphoric effects. Opiates like oxycodone (the main pain relieving ingredient in Percocet) affect the brain’s ability to perceive pain, but they also act on parts of the brain responsible for experiencing pleasure. Sometimes there can be an initial high when taking Percocet in normal, prescription doses. Over time, this effect becomes less pronounced as the user develops a tolerance to the effects of the drug.

Percocet and central nervous system effects

In addition to the high Percocet creates, there are other effects Percocet has on the central nervous system. Percocet also creates feelings of relaxation and relieves anxiety. It acts on the respiratory centers of the brain stem and slows breathing. The oxycodone found in Percocet also suppresses the cough reflex by acting on the medulla.

Mixing Percocet with other substances

It’s very dangerous to mix Percocet with other central nervous system depressants. Mixing Percocet with other drugs or alcohol can make it easier to overdose and increase the occurrence of side effects. Substances that shouldn’t be mixed with any narcotic agent include:

  1. alcohol
  2. antihistamines
  3. barbiturates
  4. benzodiazepines

Risks of Percocet abuse

Percocet start working within 15 minutes of dosing.  This rapid onset of action increases the addiction liability for Percocet.  However, whether you use Percocet to get high or as prescribed, tolerance develops over time.  Tolerance to Percocet’s effects and mean that you need to take larger and larger doses to feel the pain relieving effects or to get high off of oxycodone.

The main problem with taking higher doses of Percocet that the acetaminophen in Percocet is easy to overdose on. Abusing Percocet can cause serious and permanent liver damage.  As if that weren’t bad enough, you can’t just stop taking Percocet abruptly after prolonged use or abuse. This addictive medication has serious, and sometimes dangerous, withdrawal effects.

Am I addicted to Percocet?

Do you have to take Percocet every day? Do you need to take it to avoid restlessness, stomach upset, insomnia, and other withdrawal effects? Have you found yourself taking higher doses over time to get high or manage your pain? And once you stop taking Percocet, do you crave it even in spite of negative consequences it brings you? If so, you may be addicted to Percocet.

Help for Percocet problems

There are resources available to help you if you think you’re addicted to Percocet and want to quit. A good place to start would be consulting a doctor, who can help you gradually wean yourself from the medication or cope with withdrawal effects. There are also opioid withdrawal medicines that can help you manage symptoms during detox.  Psychotherapy is also helpful in getting to the root of any addiction and can help you cope with life without the drug. Joining a support group like Narcotics Anonymous or a self help program like SMART Recovery is another good way to keep yourself accountable and build a support network of others who understand your struggles with addiction.

Questions about Percocet high

Do you still have questions about getting high on Percocet? Are you ready to stop? Please leave us your questions and comments below. We will try to respond to all legitimate questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: Drug Enforcement Administration: Oxycodone
DailyMed drug info for Percocet

Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention: OxyContin & Oxycodone 

Photo credit: NASA

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