Snorting Percocet is a method of delivery that some individuals use to experience a more rapid, intense high. People who crush and snort Percocet may be abusing their own legitimate prescription medication, or they may be obtaining it illicitly from family, dealers, or the Internet.
Percocet tablets consist of the active ingredients oxycodone and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Oxycodone is a powerful opioid painkiller, and as such, Percocet is often prescribed for the treatment of moderate-severe pain.
Effects and Side Effects of Snorting Percocet
Crushing and snorting Percocet produces a rapid release of oxycodone and increases its absorption in the body. It also leads to high peak levels of the drug in the bloodstream. When oxycodone crosses the blood-brain barrier, it works by attaching to opioid receptors, which are proteins located on nerve cells. Once oxycodone is bound to these receptors, it begins to alter the perception of pain.
It is this same chemical reaction along with a huge boost in dopamine that induces euphoria, an effect that significantly contributes to Percocet’s relatively high potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction. When a person snorts Percocet, the “high” associated with its use is amplified, and the user is also at an increased risk for severe medical complications, such as addiction, overdose, brain damage, and death.
Even using Percocet as prescribed can lead to certain side effects, including dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, and profound sedation. Snorting Percocet has been associated with additional, even more severe symptoms. These may include the following:
- Perilously slow heart rate
- Slow, difficult breathing
- Cold, clammy skin
- Muscular flaccidity
- Lung damage
- Liver and kidney damage
- Brain damage
- Profound respiratory depression
- Stupor and unresponsiveness
- Cardiac arrest
Snorting drugs such as Percocet can also produce frequent nose bleeds, chronic nasal congestion, dry mouth and throat, and watery eyes.
Snorting Percocet vs. Oral Ingestion
Opioids such as oxycodone can be absorbed in the body through a number of routes. Health providers usually prescribe Percocet to be taken orally for safety reasons. Oxycodone has a somewhat high bioavailability, and its effects last 3-6 hours. When ingested orally, the drug is first broken down in the gastrointestinal system.
The main difference between swallowing Percocet orally and snorting Percocet is the onset of action. After oral ingestion of prescription dosages of oxycodone, the pain-altering effect occurs within 15 minutes, and this effect peaks between 30-60 minutes. Conversely, snorting Percocet promptly generates high blood levels of the drug, so pain relief and the corresponding euphoria are almost instantaneous. Unfortunately, this rapid and intense high also puts users at risk for acute toxicity or overdose.
Risks of Snorting Percocet
As noted, Percocet contains oxycodone, a narcotic. The following are risks that have been associated with snorting this drug:
Risk of accident and injury – Oxycodone can impair an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle or other machinery. Snorting Percocet can quickly dull the senses and decrease alertness, and therefore, activities that require a quick response time should be avoided at all costs. Also, impaired motor coordination may lead to injuries from falls.
Risk of addiction – One of the most pressing dangers of snorting Percocet is the likelihood of developing dependence and addiction. Even when taken as prescribed, Percocet can result in physical and emotional dependency when used for a prolonged period. Snorting Percocet recreationally for its intoxicating effects dramatically increases the risk of addiction, as well.
Risk of damage to the nose and surrounding tissues – Snorting oxycodone for an extended period can cause damage to the nasal cavity and difficulty swallowing. In extreme cases, nasal damage may become extensive and lead to scarring and other permanent injuries.
Risk of disease – Sharing straws or other paraphernalia used to inhale oxycodone into the nose can result in the contraction of blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis.
Risk of overdose – Snorting oxycodone places the user at risk of central nervous system depression to an extent that leads to respiratory arrest, heart failure, or death.
Treatment for Percocet Addiction
People who misuse Percocet or oxycodone, especially in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol, face a high risk of developing significant health complications or suffering from a life-threatening overdose. For this reason, we urge these individuals to seek professional treatment to help them detox from Percocet and learn how to sustain long-term sobriety.
Just Believe Recovery offers a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to addiction that features therapies, counseling, group support, and other services scientifically proven to be beneficial for the recovery process. We are committed to helping people free themselves from the chains of addiction by providing them with the resources, education, tools, and support they direly need to prevent relapse and remain sober indefinitely.
Contact us today and discover how we help people restore their health and well-being and reclaim the satisfying and happy life they deserve!