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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  1. I hear that a friend that’s sniffing the Percocet and says it gives the same feeling gotten from Herione, is that true? Instead just taking it as prescribed.

  2. My mom is taking this medication. I turned on my phone to find this page open! I caught her snorting it, I want to stop her from taking it without her knowing. I am just so scared what will happen to her. I am really young and I need help so please, get back to me with this. Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Private. I suggest that you call the helpline you see on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant.

  3. I have the most annoying “friend” who admits to using hydrocodone and Percocet Idk how she’s using them if she’s mixing them but in Jr high she was not annoying like she is now I enjoy adderall so I understand being talkative but this girl is the most exhausting overbearing pointless story telling of every mundane detail u never asked ab makes u want to shoot yourself in the face run away from your own home to escape her constant talking Wtf is wrong w her what is she doing

  4. Hi Rose. It would be best if you can all go to therapy. Family counseling or group counseling can give you the needed tools to keep the family together, keep your head on tour solders, and keep them away from trouble. They will need some behavioral therapy to deal with the root cause of why they started abusing Percocet in the first place. It’s a long ongoing process…be prepared!

  5. Recently my 21 year old son told me he is addicted to Percs and needs help. I just found he was doing this with his 20 year old brother. Now what? Two at once? Do they understand they just slit there moms throat?! I need to know what to do now. Younger boy says no issues with him and he won’t do it anymore. How do I know…what are physical signs besides pin like pupils?????? He cant do it himself. How long does it take to go from cool to an addict? They were snorting it. I need to know best way to help when he is out of rehab. One on one counselor or groups? He has been in rehab for two weeks now.

  6. what if someone takes benzos, ambien, muscle relaxers and anti depresent mediation. What are the risk to the body mixing the mediations. They are perscribed by 2 different doctors and neither of them know about the other. What kind of health risks am I facing. I also take herbal homopathics to sleep suchas midnight, alterial, sleep fix and valarian root

  7. I sometimes (2 or 3 times a month max) take 1/2 a percocet while drinking wine 3 or 4 glasses. I do not take it at any other time and only drink that much at the same frequency. I will drink a glass of wine 3 or 4 times a week. What are my risk.

  8. im very glad there are other people doing things like abusing pescription drugs.For one reason only and that is that i learn from there mistakes not to use them in that way .However i must say it greatly saddens me that they are out of control.Without a doubt these people seriously need help before its to late. You young men and woman out there take my word for it if you love yourself do the rite thing and use your medication the way your Dr. tells you to.Dont forget God loves you, i love you cause you are all my brothers and sisters. one last thing i need to say, do the rite thing you know better and are here for God your family and friends.Stand by eachotherand keep eachother stronger in numbers.Find something you love doing and become great at it.. ill pray for us all to have the strength we need to live a healthy and loving life. Sincerely your friend Dave. Head up!

  9. Thanks for posting such a great article. I have done a lot of research on this stuff myself. The more we can make people aware of the issues surround prescription drub abuse, the better we can control the problem. Thanks again for a great article.

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