How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System? – Percocet is a prescription medication that consists of a combination of the opioid oxycodone with the analgesic acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. It’s indicated to treat moderate to severe pain in the short-term and is dispensed in the form of a tablet.
The average half-life of Percocet is about 3.5 hours, which means this is the amount of time needed for half a dose of Percocet to be eliminated from a person’s system. It will, therefore, take an average of around 19 hours to clear Percocet completely from the system.
This period can be longer, however, for those people who are chronic, heavy users, as opioids will have been absorbed by the body’s fatty tissues if there is more Percocet in the body than the liver can process. It takes longer for traces of Percocet in these tissues to be cleared from the body than that which mainly stays in the bodily fluids.
Importantly, many drug tests can also identify agents that are produced when the liver breaks down opioids. These metabolites remain in a person’s body longer than the drug does itself.
In urine tests, traces of Percocet can be detected for 48 hours, beginning two hours after the first dose. It can be detected in the blood for only about 24 hours. Hair analysis is the long-term test, which can identify oxycodone built up in the follicles for up to a month.
The abuse of prescription drugs has been steadily increasing due to greater availability and the erroneous belief that they are safer to abuse than illegal substances. Prescription opioids such as Percocet, however, can be just as addictive as illicit drugs and most definitely have the potential for overdose.
This rise in abuse and fatalities has compelled governments to restrict prescriptions of Percocet. Tests have been developed to identify the presence of the drug in saliva, urine, and hair follicles. These may be used in addiction treatment centers to recognize a relapse in progress or by employers.
The Dangers of Percocet Abuse
The inclusion of oxycodone in Percocet rapidly produces tolerance, and this is one reason why Percocet is not really indicated for long-term use. Persons regularly using Percocet will need increasingly higher doses to produce the same effect. This pattern of use can quickly lead to addiction and other adverse health complications.
Opioid abuse can result in long-term damage to the body, and the development of drug tolerance puts users at a heightened risk of overdose and other complications. Also, when used excessively, the acetaminophen in Percocet is harmful to the liver and can lead to inflammation, hepatitis, scarring, and irreversible damage. To reduce any associated health risks, persons suffering from addiction should seek out professional treatment services as soon as the problem is suspected.
When Percocet is used, it releases an excessive amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine – a chemical that produces feelings of well-being or euphoria. When used regularly, both tolerance and dependence can form.
Dependence develops over time as neurons in the brain grow accustomed to the repeated presence of certain substances, and can no longer function correctly. When a person becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, they will experience very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they try to discontinue use or cut back. Often, this is a key reason why many people relapse.
Tolerance also develops due to repeated exposure. With regular use, the brain and body reduce the effect of the substance, and as this occurs, the person begins to experience ar reduced response from the drug. The end result is that the person needs increasing amounts of the substance in order to feel the desired effects – another effect of abuse that contributes to the potential for overdose.
Symptoms of Percocet Addiction
Percocet addiction can result in a number of side effects, including:
- Mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Low blood pressure
- Lowered breathing rate
- Impaired coordination
Those persons addicted to Percocet or other opioids should consult a medical provider before attempting to discontinue use, as withdrawal symptoms can be highly unpleasant, and the cravings can be intense. Addiction treatment centers may administer an opioid substitute medication to mitigate these effects.
Percocet withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Excessive yawning
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Anxiety and depression
- Nausea and vomiting
- High blood pressure
- Accelerated heart rate
- Muscle aches
Treatment for Percocet Addiction
Persons who abuse or misuse Percocet, especially in combination with other drugs or alcohol, face a high risk of developing significant health problems or experiencing a life-threatening overdose. For this reason, these individuals are urged to seek professional medical and mental health treatment to help them detox from Percocet and maintain long-term sobriety.
Harmony Recovery offers a comprehensive, evidence-based approach that features therapies and treatments scientifically proven to be effective, if not absolutely vital to the recovery process. Contact us today and discover how we can help you restore your health and well-being and reclaim the fulfilling and happy life you deserve!