Friday April 28th 2017

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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:

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  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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5 Responses to “Does Percocet get you high?
7:13 pm July 17th, 2014

I had an MRI and it showed spinal stenosis and a herniated disc. I was referred to a spine specialist who referred me to pt. In the meanwhile, the specialist prescribed me percocet. This is really alleviating my pain. I can walk normally without having to be stiff to avoid feeling the pain I have in my back/pelvic area. I feel so relieved, but I know percocet is not something that is for prolonged use. What are some other options for my pain? (That would obviously be as effective as the percocet) Thank you, Sarah

8:24 am July 29th, 2014

Hello Sarah. Pain specialists now prescribe treatments that attack moderate-to-severe chronic pain from different angles. They use a variety of innovative drugs, targeted nerve-zapping procedures, and drug pumps that deliver strong painkillers to the nerve root. Doctors also endorse the use of psychotherapy, relaxation techniques and alternative therapies.
Here is a web page you can visit to learn more:

3:04 am October 13th, 2015

My husband is in rehab after double knee replacement surgery. He is 6 days post-op and doing well according to the PT’s. He asked me to bring him a beer and when I showed up with dinner, but no beer he simply withdrew his attendtion and started to read a book. He is a heavy drinker as well as a user of marijuana. When he is discharged from the rehab to come home I am sure he will want to start drinking right away. I have removed all alcaholic beverages from our home.
My question is this: Will he be able to cope with this scenario or can we get counseling or some kind of
help so that he can tolerate not drinking until he is off Percoset? Or am I simply left with the consequences? I feel like a cheat either way. He will be angry if not able to drink or if he does I will be constantly worried about side effects/ loss of balance. What do I do?

4:48 pm November 4th, 2015

HI Elizabeth. Drinking alcohol regularly and needing it is a problem. And, keep in mind that many alcoholics are highly functioning and able to keep a career and a family. I suggest you seek help for him, especially since you are aware that even being on medication therapy won’t stop him from craving (and drinking) alcohol.

3:03 pm November 2nd, 2016

i took it in my hospital for a surgery I had so they could pack the open wound. this doesn’t get you high, it just makes everything numb-ish. you can feel, but you don’t feel pain. you can be tickled, but not scratched. it doesn’t make you feel euphoric at all so all those worrying about it don’t even worry youre gonna be fine i promise. i’m in the hospital and i just took it again, see? i’m ok and you will be too. :))

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