Combining alcohol with Percocet can lead to serious reactions, ranging from mild to life-threatening symptoms.
Both Percocet and alcohol carry their own set of risks and side effects. However, when combined, they can create a new host of negative reactions. When used in excess, this combination of substances is particularly dangerous. Mixing alcohol with Percocet can lead to mild symptoms, like constipation, or life-threatening issues, like respiratory depression, coma and death.
What are the Side Effects of Percocet and Alcohol?
The side effects of using Percocet or alcohol can include:
- Dry mouth
- Impaired thinking and judgment
- Low blood pressure
- Depressed respiration
- Liver failure
- Heart attack
- Liver problems
- Colon cancer
Any of these effects can exacerbate when alcohol and Percocet are taken together. Mixing these substances can increase the risk of serious side effects and result in death.
Percocet is a combination of oxycodone, a prescription opioid, and acetaminophen, an over-the-counter non-opioid pain reliever. Alcohol interacts with each of these in a unique way.
Alcohol and Oxycodone
Both alcohol and oxycodone induce a sense of relaxation, and alcohol can heighten Percocet’s sedative effects. This can happen to point of being dangerous, leading to respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is where a person’s breathing slows down, becomes shallow or irregular, or even stops, causing oxygen deprivation. Without immediate medical attention, this could lead to death.
Other possible consequences include passing out, which could cause physical injury by falling, or vomiting while unconscious, which could lead to choking.
Alcohol and Acetaminophen
Because Percocet contains acetaminophen, combining the two also runs the risk of liver damage and damage to the stomach linking. This is due to the liver’s role in breaking down both acetaminophen and alcohol. Studies have linked both substances to liver damage, so combining the two can heighten the damage.
Both drugs are addictive on their own, so, in conjunction, they can create a dangerous cycle of dependence that could leave you debilitated in more ways than one.
Dangers of Mixing Percocet and Alcohol
Percocet displays warning labels against combining it with alcohol. While alcohol is a normal part of life for many, it doesn’t come without risks.
In fact, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that 88,000 deaths a year are attributed to alcohol, making it the fourth-largest preventable killer in the United States.
When it is added alongside prescription drugs like Percocet, it is even more lethal. Impaired judgment can make it difficult to remember the last dose of medication and can lead some to overuse both substances.
Using alcohol in combination with the opioid painkiller puts you at higher risk for both overdose and alcohol poisoning, which can lead to death. If you or someone you know has developed an unhealthy relationship to either or both substances, it is important to seek help to overcome potential addiction and misuse.
Alcohol poisoning can be fatal. If you suspect someone is experiencing alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately. Do NOT be afraid to seek help. If you do not have access to a phone contact Web Poison Control Services for online assistance.
Signs of Percocet and Alcohol Addiction
There are various signs and symptoms that may indicate abuse of Percocet and/or alcohol.
Signs and symptoms of Percocet abuse:
- Slowed and shallow breathing
- Constricted pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Mood Swings
Signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Sexually risky behavior
- Memory loss
- Long memory blackouts
- Drinking alone
Treatment for Percocet and Alcohol Addiction
There are a variety of treatment options for alcohol and prescription drug abuse. If you are addicted to either or both substances, the first step toward healing medical detox, a supervised process that allows you to safely and medically transition away from harmful substances. Medically monitored detox can help with the discomfort associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
The Recovery Village has a collection of centers across the United States specializing in treating drug and alcohol addiction, along with co-occurring disorders (addiction and mental health issues together).
If you need more information about treatment options or are ready to seek help, contact The Recovery Village to speak with an intake coordinator who can help you identify the best course of action.
Percocet Side Effects
AccessData.FDA.gov. “Percocet.” July 2018. Accessed October 29, 2021.
Lillis, C. “Is it safe to mix acetaminophen and alcohol?.” Medical News Today, August 20, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2021.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. “PubChem Compound Summary for CID 1983, Acetaminophen.” PubChem, 2021. Accessed October 29, 2021.
NIAA. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics Fact Sheet.” National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2021. Accessed October 29, 2021.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.