What happens when you snort Percocet?

When you snort Percoet, you speed onset of oxycodone in the brain. Is snorting Percocet bad for you? We review here.

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When you snort Percocet

People who snort Percocet (oxycodone) usually do so because they want to relieve pain faster. In fact, this may be true: onset of action is significantly shorter when you snort Percocet (oxycodone) than taking the drug normally. But while you are snorting Percocet, you potentially increase your Percocet tolerance. Additionally, the body develops Percocet physical dependence, or physical dependence on oxycodone, and becomes increasingly in need of Percocet for the body to function.

Read more here to learn what does Percocet do to the body and the dangers that come with snorting oxycodone. Plus, a section for your questions about Percocet at the end.

What does snorting Percocet do?

When you snort Percocet, you crush the tablet into a powder and snort it through the nose. When you snort Percocet, the absorption rate into the body is significantly faster than when you take Percocet orally. The oxycodone in the Percocet is concentrated, absorbed into the mucous membranes of the nasal tissues and works almost instantaneous. This concentrated dose of oxycodone passes the blood-brain barrier much faster than an oral Percocet dose because Percocet doesn’t have to go through the GI tract in order to enter the bloodstream. Therefore, it only take about 2-4 minutes before you feel the effects of Percocet when snorted. But what happens next?

Once Percocet has reached the brain, oxycodone attaches to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. This is how Percocet helps mitigate any pain you are feeling, by changing the way that you perceive of pain. This is also what gets you high. Percocet is concentrated on these receptors, activating the pleasure center of the brain. Your body can feel extremely relaxed and pleasant while you are no longer feeling any pain as well. However, concentrated exposure to oxycodone increases your risk of adverse effects and overdose.

Is snorting Percocet bad for you?

There is a reason the Percocet is prescribed as it is. On any label for Percocet you will notice that it advises against chewing, crushing, or snorting Percocet. Percocet is coated because it is meant to be digested and distributed to the opioid receptors slowly. So, in short: yes, snorting Percocet is bad for you. There are several adverse and negative effects snorting Percocet can cause. They can include:

  • cardiac arrest
  • coma or unconsciousness
  • death
  • dilated pupils
  • dizziness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • overdose
  • slow heart rate

Is snorting Percocet dangerous?

Yes, snorting Percocet can be dangerous. You can severely damage your nasal cavities, even killing your sense of smell. When you snort Percocet, you also produce negative side effect because of the concentrated level of Percocet in the body. The body has a hard time absorbing that much Percocet into the body and the opioid receptors get flooded. When this happens, you run the risk of overdose. Overdose is a process by which your body is experiencing Percocet poisoning. In response, the body works hard to get rid of oxycodone from the body. Listed below are typical signs of an opiate overdose.

  • bluish skin
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness
  • respiratory arrest
  • seizures
  • shallow labored breathing
  • sweating
  • vomiting

Furthermore, because Percocet works so well people who snort Percocet run the risk of developing an addiction. Why? Because you are more likely to get high when you snort Percocet. If you seek Percocet for euphoria, you will become addicted to Percocet over time. This route of administration increases your risk of Percocet addiction.

Is snorting Percocet effective?

Yes. Snorting Percocet is effective. Snorting Percocet works to both relieve pain and induce euphoria. Plus, snorted Percocet takes less time and works faster to produce effect. But, snorted Percocet also wears off sooner. And while snorting Percocet delivers analgesic effects quickly, this doesn’t mean it’s better. You are likely to feel the pain return sooner than you would normally, forcing you to go through more Percocet in a day then is clinically recommended.

Can you snort Percocet?

Can you snort Percocet? Yes. Should you? No. Doctors prescribe Percocet orally for purposes of safety and to limit the amount of Percocet concentrated into the body. Labels warn against snorting Percocet because they know the risk involved. Nor should you be snorting Percocet all of the time. The more you continue to snort Percocet, the more you increases ricking negative reactions even to the point of liver failure, overdose, and death. Overall the risk and dangers outweigh any potential benefits and ability snorting Percocet has on the body. Please consider not snorting Percocet to treat your pain or to use Percocet recreationally. Or at the least, understand the risks that are involved and if you are going to snort Percocet, snort less than you would take orally.

When you snort Percocet questions

Do you know someone who is snorting Percocet? Then they may be addicted to Percocet and may need to seek out treatment. Look for the signs of addiction and whether or not they need to withdrawal or seek out a treatment facility. And if you still have questions concerning snorting Percocet, ask us below.  Any questions you have will receive a personal and prompt response.

Resources: Medline Plus: Hydrocodone/oxycodone overdose
FDA: Oxycodone (controlled release)
NCBI: Oxycodone abuse in New York City: Characteristics of intravenous and intranasal users
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 am sure that my brother is snorting Percocet and he has been doing it for about 6 months now or maybe longer… I am con earned but I just don’t know how to go about confronting him. The scary thing is that his close friend just passed away from overdose and he was so hurt by it & seemed to stop for a few weeks but now he back on it and it’s worse than before. Please help.

  2. Please don’t snort Percocet, it’s a rediculous amount of powder for such a small amount of oxycodone.
    And to the writer of this, I think you should specify that the name Percocet is only a brand name, it is not a different drug. It is Tylenol and 5-10 mgs of oxycodone.
    People should be informed that Percodan, Endodan, Roxiprin, Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet and OxyContin and I’m sure there are more, all use the same active ingredient. some are just mixed with Tylenol and some are time released(oxycontin)
    I have actually heard people say things like, no I won’t ever touch oxycodone, I only do Percocet and oxycontin.
    Sorry for the rant, I just feel like people should be more informed if they are going to use or even talk about these very powerful opiates.

  3. Snorting Percocet is bad cause it has Tylenol if you want to snor anything with oxy get straight oxy cause it has no Tylenol

  4. I found out today my sister is snorting her pain medication she said her doctor suggested it so her pain will go away faster but i find it hard to believe a dr would suggest something so dangerouse.

  5. i came home 2 months ago and found my fiancé dead in the den. they listed the cause of death as an aneurysm because he had hemorrhages in his eyes. they did not perform an autopsy. last night i found (in his bathroom) percosets, a straw and a small mirror. i am assuming he was crushing and snorting these drugs. can this cause the hemorrhaging to the eyes if he had a heart attack from using? i’m trying to get answers for myself.

    1. Hi Anne. I’m really sorry for your loss… An autopsy should have been made in order to know the cause of death. Only a professional such as a coroner knows how to examine the body.

  6. I have read the comments section n I am in the same place as Jen was with her husband. I have turned in to his number one enemy. He is spending money on them like crazy. N he said that I am costingreatful him money. He is out of control and I don’t know how to stop it. N he has everyone fool an tells them I am the problem with this relationship. Looking for help.in Bowmanville Ontario. .

  7. My grandson is addicted to snorting oxycodone. He has stolen from his mother, father, step sister and brother; and me.

    He just recently got out of jail. Broke into his fathers house and took the car for a joy ride. Also took money and gift cards from the children’s banks.

    His mother allowed him to set up air mattress and stay at they condo until he got on his feet. She bought him a car.

    Just this week she realized he had stolen 250.00 from her. It goes on and on.

    My grandson, Matthew , will amaze you at what a kind and gentle young man.

    Please advise.

    Matthew is 27 years old.

    1. Hi Margaret. You may look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help: http://alliesinrecovery.net/about-craft/
      Moreover, you may consider check out some rehab options. So, I suggest that you download our free e-book The Definitive Guide to Rehab that can help you choose the right rehab for your grandson: https://addictionblog.org/ebooks/the-definitive-guide-to-rehab/

  8. I have been taking Percocet for over a year by insuflation, does this cause night seizures for example I lay down in bed at night and close my eyes and then my whole body jerks randomly until I open my eyes and adjust to the lights or darkness again , this also sometimes happens while driving in the car with very bright sunlight ? I
    Take 4 10/325 per day

  9. I have 2 sons 31 and 26 years old the younger one was clean for 100 days and is now using.

    The older one just moved back home since his split with his girlfriend I know he uses but he of

    course denies it . I aslo know that he was to want to get sober. First how can you tell if someone is using and how can I get them both help>>

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Donna. I suggest that you call the helpline displayed on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find suitable programs for your sons.

  10. I have a really close friend that has been a friend of the family for years and i just found out that he has been snorting percocets and im really worried about him. He has a wife and kids and hes a close friend of my husbands and me and my husband and were really concerned because all he does is snort percocets thruout the day and we worry so much

  11. This question is a for a family member who recently admitted to snorting Percocet for two years. As a concerned family member, I recently confronted the family member about misusing meds for a welding accident that happened five years ago.(severe burns to body) Percocet was not one of the meds and I was unaware she was snorting Percocet. When confronted, the family member said, they had stopped abusing meds about a month ago(Percocet) and was clean. Also they said they had spoken to doctor and refused to use methadone for withdrawal and went cold turkey. My question is: Would they possibly be able to handle the withdrawals safely without medical supervision? I want to believe this person but of all of a sudden when confronted they are clean.
    Concerned family member
    This person is 50 years old and is female.

  12. for everyone asking how to do it and if it will hurt if its just one. i dont think it should be an every day thing. i take 7.5 generic and i snort like one a day. it wont hurt you and no you wont go into a coma or any of that, you have to do this stuff responsibly. I could be addicted, but it wont matter because i wont get prescribed them for the rest of my life, when the doctors cuts me off, im off. and yes it is a wonderful feeling, just wipe your nose before you go anywhere public

  13. I have been snorting Oxycocet up to three a day for a week and took five before doctors appointment will I pass a urine test

  14. Do the risks of snorting Percocet only exist when it is overdosed? I was recently prescribed Percocet for pain and was led to believe that chemically, snorting it was no different than swallowing it albeit being faster and now I am afraid. Thank you for this article, it has helped me understand so much. I am very worried for my health.

  15. my husband has been snorting percocets and in the last month he has been having episodes where he is out of his head for about ten hours. sometimes he is combative others times he is a child. could this be caused from snorting the petcocets

  16. I have a friend who has a 25 year old daughter and she is addicted to percs. It started from doctors giving scripts for her boils and now she is buying them in the street. I noticed the other day a butter knife in the bathroom with residue. Her mother saw white residue on her nose the other day. She does not admit to taking or snorting the pills. She has 3 young kids. She needs help but she won’t get treatment. What can we do? She always threatens her mother that she won’t be able to see her grandkids. She was evicted and has no where to go but the shelter. My friend won’t let her grandkids go to the shelter but told her daughter that she needs to go when she gets her taxes. We need help please.

  17. Don’t snort Oxys. I got into it and fuck me dead it’s a hard habit to break! I use 2-3x more now and this website is right you get tolerant faster and run out of your meds quicker. If I’m in full blown withdraw I’ll snort a big lines chopped with half a Tylenol for like 2-3 days till I’m out of pain and then stop. It’s ridiculous the amount you use when u snort them. I was content with 15’s and 20’s and now 30’s and 40’s is like nothing. I’ve been on pills 1/3 of my life and it’s sad cuz I do need them for my back but fuck I wish I never started snorting them because it is a hard addiction to kick. At times I think I’m addicted just to snorting. Soon I’m to the point I’m gonna put a line of crushed black pepper with my pills if I ever get it in my head to snort again to teach myself a lesson!

  18. Hello, I started taking norco, 10/325 about a year ago due to back injury. My ex was a long time heroin addict, and when he was clean, he got hurt very bad so they prescribed him norco and he’d crush and snort them, I never understood until I had to start taking them. I started to do the same, It kicks in much faster, and now I enjoy the feeling (the high) as well, I never nod out or get tired, I get very hyper, happy, and productive. I’ve been a recovering addict only a year now, I’ve had substance abuse issues for over 20 yes, and I’m only 42. I’m terrified yet I feel I can’t go back… I don’t really know my question, I guess is long term use of crushing norco worse for your heart, and all organs rather than swallowing it? I know I should get help again, I know the shoulds, Ive never liked or taken opiates until now, they used to make me sick. How hard is it to kick? I was taking 6mg of Xanax a day, that was tough, are opiates worse? Harder to do? I guess I’m a bit lost.

  19. I am addicted to snorting percoset it is more so the feeling in the back of my throte and the fast pain relief but it only last an hour or two I was wondering if there is any free help I can get I am handycaped from a car wreck and don’t have any money but I would like some help if its out there

  20. I cant fuction if dont have a Percocet my body be so weak bones hurt if I dont have any I get the runs I get mad I start sweating I cant focuz wirh our having a Percocet I spend a lot on these Percocet s I can get some help please its ur on herion

    1. Hi, Kate. It may be possible since a pulmonary edema occurs when the alveoli fill up with excess fluid seeped out of the blood vessels in the lung instead of air.

  21. I have a friend that I care for. He has been talking perks orally from my acknowledge. But I have recently hanged out with him after a month & have noticed a change in him. One late night while we was driving he was speeding which he usually does, but he was very hyper talking alot. When we got home he kept touching his noise being overly social. Plus he was drinking. Once we got into bed the next morning he woke up which woke me up and he was talking to himself. I dont know what this means. Did he sniff it or just took the perks?

  22. I went on my monthley visit to pain mainmanagemenr ive been see him and cause of insurance issues i eas unable to had to make appointment, change insurance rverything i was on opan ir and mscontin went to the hospital told them what was going on that i have a new appointment on the 17th hr gave mr percoset 5s i had to snort 4 of them just to get rid of the pain, so hopfully i get on my regular meds, the drugs store gave me two to pic between wallmart and cvs, they have never had my meds in stock, if thats all i get ill snort them away cause thats the only they work!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    1. Hi Julie. It depends on the individual needs and factors such as how long Percocet was used, how much, was it abused, was it taken along with other substances, does the person have any mental health issues, etc. Treatment can last for a short detox period of time – which is about 2-3 weeks tops, maybe a month, or up to 60-90 days if needed.

  23. I have been very concerned about my boyfriend’s abuse of Percocet. I was suspicious of him snorting it and of course he denied it. I recently found out my suspicion was right. I don’t think he can stop. He had chronic pain from degenerative disc disorder and has been on percocet for ten years. I know he has been over using them & running out before his next refill and seems to be just fine without. Not sure how to approach him or what options he has to clean up. Please help! He’s paying out

    1. Hello Amanda. Have you talked openly with your boyfriend about his abuse of Percocet? You may try to mention to him going to group therapy.

  24. My friend is back in jail due to alcohol and snorting percocets. Will he crave them and or lose his cravings if he has a long stay . He says he has high anxiety and those chemicals calm him. I’m at a loss as how I can help.


  25. I have been prescribed peracet for over 5 years and never had a problem. About 3 months ago I started snorting them. It is the craziest thing bc now that I am trying to stop and just go back and take them my body feels like I am having withdraws. Is that possible?

  26. my mother snorts them.. i want her to stop but she won’t. my aunt was on them too, but she seeked treatment & now she’s a recovering addict.

  27. Normally I take one 10mg percocet a day but when I snort it I still have the pill 2-3 days later am I still subject to the negative side affects even though I don’t use near as much as I used to?

  28. Will anybody find out that I’m digoxin? Can my employer or government officials find out that I was addict?
    Thank you


  29. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend is severly addicted to perks I’m sure he is snorting them as I find rolled up papers in bathroom. But my question is can he be taking them daily and show no signs or symptoms? I know when he I guess takes alot because their is a complete change in his personality, but daily I don’t see that change? He swears up and done he’s not using but works 6 days a week but is always broke. And the most recent I gave him money to go pay the rent … and it never got paid. He won’t get help I’m at a loss what to do, but am considering walking away from our relationship of 4 years as much as I don’t want to.

  30. I take oxicodone acetaminophen 7.5-325 and I was considering snorting but I don’t know how much to snort, I regularly take 3 to get maximum pain relief and euphoria but I take them every two days to keep my tolerance low, how many should I snort, or if even a half will do. I want to take precautions and stuff and do this safely thank you.

  31. Please help me my husband snorts perks n im scard its going to kill him he dos so many of them at a time n he is very moody n hateful n just dont care about nothing no more. Spends alot money on them what can i do please help. Thank u

    1. Hi Judy. You need to seek professional medical help from addiction doctors and therapists. You husband may need to get checked into a treatment facility, go to counseling and psychotherapy to be able to quit his harmful habit.

  32. My son is prescribed Percocet but I want to make sure he is only taking as prescribed (2-3 a day orally). If I ask his doctor to do a urine test (or blood, saliva, hair test) is there anyway the drug test results can determine if he is snorting the drug versus taking orally as prescribed? Thank you for your article and caring.

    1. Hi Jeremy. Urine tests can test for the quantity in which a drug is taken by evaluating the metabolites. However, note that even these kinds of tests can be wrong more often than you think. Some people take their medication regularly and nothing shows on their urinalysis. Others have test results show they take more, when in fact, they never do. Why don’t you manage your son’s medications daily?

  33. I’m snorting 2mg of xannax and I usually take10mg of oxycodon orally but I do it once in a while but I want to try the the 2mg of xannax and 10mg of oxycodone can u give me advice and how to do it safely?

  34. If u have a high tolerance for percocet orally and decided to snort them , would you have to snort as much as you take orally to get high? My friend can take about 120mg or more orally n will only feel the high the first dose of her day she tried snorting them but only snorted 60 mgs and said she didn’t feel anything . She keeps trying cuz it’s her first time snorting so she thinks she doing some wrong.

  35. I know in my heart that my husband is snorting percocet in our bathroom. I have seen powder and small chuncks of these pills. Is there something like rubbing alcohol I can put on the counter that will burn his nose but not cause damage? I know that sounds crazy but until I can prove it I can’t get him help.

  36. Hello Chris. Withdrawal symptoms from Percocet usually resolve within five to ten days after cessation. However, the number of symptoms you experience, how long you experience them, and how severe the symptoms of Percocet withdrawal all depend on your body’s individual response to withdrawal, how long you’ve been taking the medications and the dose of oxycodone you’ve been taking.

  37. Hello I’ve been abusing Percocet for about two years off and on.it kinda snow balled on me I take roughly bout ten a day of the 10/325 I’m through week one of withdrawals. How much longer will the symptoms last I’m getting a little energy back everyday. But I still have a few symptoms that are making it harder to resist.thank you I just want to work on a game plan to to keep going strong and staying away.

  38. Hi Ann. If you want to quit Percocet, do it on your own and with success, you will still need doctor’s assistance. You can contact your doctor to help you create a tapering schedule. That way, you can lower Percocet doses gradually and feel less severe withdrawal symptoms. During tapering you should always have your doctor’s emergency phone number, so you can contact him/her if there is need.

  39. Can percocet cause problems for one to use the bathroom going number 2. Can snorting oxys cause you to have egg burps?. How many days can you snort peeks before it becomes a habit?. How does one wean themselves off the pills without getting really sick. I get alot of perks per month 5 &10s. I refuse to go on methadone, or saboxin i went that route and talk about being sick those to drugs take the cake. Theres got to be away to do it by yourself with out going to program. Thank you for your time

  40. Hi Ron. Have you tried getting your son to talk to a psychologist? Psychologists are different than psychistrists because they work with patients to resolve the problems and uncover what is causing the problem in the first place. Psychiatrists are those who give medications to change the brain’s chemistry by saying that each behavioral change is due to a “chemichal disbalance”. Maybe the reason why medications haven’t worked so far is because there is nothing thay can fix. I believe behavioral therapy with a psychologist would help better.

  41. My son is starting to take Percocet because of his strong social anxiety and other fears; he does speak with a doctor about it, but doesn’t seem to get put on a medication that helps. Is there a medication that he could suggest to the doctor that would relieve some of his fears? He can hardly go shopping and can’t look for work.

  42. Hello…. My girlfriend was addicted to percocet and snorted it. She has quit but is experincing pain in her throat and sinus and can only releave it by snorting tylenol. Has anyone heard of this or possible remedy?

  43. I noticed some of my percocets were missing. I take them asi have ms. I found the percocets and some of my sleeping pills, which i noticed were decreasing also, in his tylenol arthrits bottle. I have dumped my percocet and hid my sleeping pills, there was 80 left of 120 since july 4th and i no that in 15 days i did not take 40 pills. I take mine at night and just 1. I no my husband chews the sleeping pill but i found parts of pill on the bathroom vanity. My husband sleeps about 8 hrs a day and all night. He has this persistant cough and hes nose runs. My husband is a alcoholic who hasn’t drank in 4 yrs but this seems to be his addiction. My husband was sober when i met and married him. Not sure what to do.

  44. I have a family member who snorts pills. He thinks it’s harmless… I need to know what to tell him and maybe some literature to scare him.

  45. Hello Cat. No, usually doctors discontinue prescription if they know that an opioid drug like Percocet is being abused. But to be sure about the laws that governm your state, check in with your state Attorney General’s Office. http://ash.org/aglist.html

  46. Hello Amanda. Prescription drugs should be used as prescribed, so make sure that if you’re lowering your doses, your doctor OK’s it. If you’ve developed physical dependency, lowering doses by more than 25% at once can bring on withdrawal symptoms. I’m not sure if snorting Percocet is related to loss of eyesight; you’ll need to check in with an ENT or ophthalmologist about this.

  47. Hi Jen. You may need the help of a professional: a psychotherapist, family counselor, or social worker. In cases of extreme aggression or denial, it can help to seek the advice of people who deal with cases of substance abuse on a daily basis. They can help identify patterns of enabling or co-dependence and advise you on next best steps. In some cases, distance and separation may be required. Are you ready to face possible addiction head-on? I send you my very best wishes for courage and endurance, Jen.

  48. I caught my husband snorting Percocet. Also I know he is taking at least 6-8 a day. He claims because he is 280lbs and he has been taking them for so long he needs more. He is also taking muscle relaxers and has his own supply of testosterone which he injects himself. I cant talk to him because he insist he doesn’t have a problem and gets really angry. I think the testosterone is making him crazy. I am afraid for my children how do I get him t get help if he feels he has no problem.

  49. I have a friend who snorts percocet and drinks a lot of alcohol on top of it. He is always telling me to snort it with him, but I won’t and he tries to make me feel bad by acting offended. First of all I don’t think it will do anything and I am afraid of the health risks which have been confirmed by this informative website. He is always sitting on his couch and doesn’t like to go out anymore. He only wants to snort percocet. On top of this he is obese if not morbidly obese. I am afraid for his health, but whenever I try to bring it up he gets defensive which makes me stop. He is only 23 and I think its going to lead to an early grave for him. Are there any websites that might be helpful in going about recruiting his roommate for an intervention?

  50. Hello lynnann. You may want to share you past drug use with your doctor. This is important medical information that s/he needs during the course of your treatment. And the questions you’re asking here would really be best addressed by a qualified medical professional! Good luck and be brave. Doctors who are well trained do not judge addiction – they understand it.

  51. can you get vascultis (I believe that’s what I was told) or any type of blood vessel blockage or swelling from snorting Percocet? I’ve been having severe pressure in the back of my head and in my eye, where it feels twice as big as the other, and blurred vision (all on the right side) for almost 3 months now and been going for tests, my dr. told me I had ms, because he seen spots on the right side of my brain from a mri. and after the spinal tap it came back negative, so then he proceeded to ask me a few questions to see what’s going on and one question was: was I doing any street drugs… and in the past I was addicted to snorting Percocet. (but I was scared to tell him about the Percocet and now am scared also to get the blood work, in fear it from that) and wondering if the spots and these symptoms could be from that and should I be concerned?

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