How is Percocet abused?

Percocet abuse includes taking more Percocet than prescribed, or for longer periods than intended. Or using Percocet in ways other than prescribed (snorting, smoking, injecting). More on what Percocet abuse is here.

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When you look at any label for Percocet or do any research online, the manufacturer’s warnings expressly warns you against taking Percocet in certain ways. For example, when you snort Percocet, you trigger high doses of oxycodone directly to the blood-brain barrier and can cause Percocet overdose complications. But what is Percocet abuse, exactly? We review here and then invite your questions about Percocet or how to help Percocet addiction at the end.

Can Percocet be abused?

Yes, Percocet (main ingredient oxycodone) can be abused. In fact, as an opioid pain killer, Percocet is one of the leading prescription drugs people abuse in America. Percocet is abused because not only does it help relieve moderate to severe pain, oxycodone can also give you a euphoric high. Euphoric effect can change depending on how you decide to take the medication. So how do you abuse Percocet, exactly?

How Percocet is abused

Percocet can be abused with a prescription or by those who use it without a prescription.

  • taking more Percocet than doctor prescribed
  • taking Percocet for longer than doctor prescribed
  • snorting Percocet
  • chewing Percocet
  • smoking Percocet
  • injecting Percocet

When you chew, snort, smoke, or inject Percocet you bypass the controlled release parameters designed to help distribute the medication to the body. These modes of administration can also include a euphoric high, as the dose of Percocet that is delivered to the blood-brain barrier is more concentrated than Percocet metabolized through the gastrointestinal system. People who abuse Percocet know this and do so, so they can feel the effects of the high and the analgesic effects faster and with a greater intensity.

Percocet abuse side effects

People who abuse are subject to adverse side effects. Side effects are often unpredictable. If you are sharing implements such as straws or needles, you can even contact infections and diseases. Higher concentrations of the substance can poison the body leaving to overdose and death. Other Percocet abuse side effects include:

  • changes in mood regulators
  • coma
  • constipation
  • damage to the liver
  • fatigue
  • heart attack
  • irregular breathing
  • respiratory depression

Signs of Percocet abuse

Signs of Percocet abuse include:

  • disengagement from reality
  • extreme fatigued or over relaxation all the time
  • going through Percocet faster than prescribed
  • increased use of Percocet
  • trying to refill prescription more than necessary ‘doctor shopping’, or visiting different doctors in order to get a prescription filled

Percocet abuse questions

Do you still have questions about Percocet use or abuse? Please leave your questions here. We’ll do our best to respond to you personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: National Institute of Drug Abuse: Challenges in Using Opioids to Treat Pain in Persons With Substance Use Disorders
Department of Justice: OxyContin Abuse
Daily Med: Percocet
Department of Justice: Prescription Drug Abuse and Youth
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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