Snorting Percocet: Side Effects and Dangers

Many people wonder what the side effects and dangers of snorting Percocet are, and why people snort Percocet. Detailed information is provided below as to what Percocet is, how it works, why people snort it and what the side effects and dangers of snorting Percocet are.

Snorting Percocet: Side Effects and Dangers
Percocet is a potent painkiller that’s part of the opioid drug class. This prescription painkiller is a combination of two medications: oxycodone (an opioid drug) and acetaminophen (a non-narcotic pain reliever). Percocet can be prescribed for a range of pain levels and it is very effective in easing pain, particularly following something like surgery or an injury, but it also has a high likelihood of abuse and dependence.

Opioids act on the brain by binding to opioid receptors. When someone takes Percocet, it then binds to those receptors and the brain is flooded with dopamine, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter.

The euphoric high comes from the high amounts of dopamine, and it’s also what leads to addiction. The brain is designed to seek out what brings pleasure, including drug use. Once someone takes Percocet or drugs like it, their brain wants to continue seeking that good feeling, due to the rush of dopamine.

Unfortunately, with more frequent use, a person may become addicted and tolerant of the drug, which then means the same dose will no longer produce the same “high” feeling. The brain will start to have a difficult time producing dopamine naturally, and it may be hard to feel normal without the presence of opioids.

Opioids also depress the central nervous system, which can slow breathing and lead to coma or death.

When someone is prescribed Percocet, it’s meant to be taken orally, however, some people may abuse the drug by crushing the tablets and chewing or snorting them. These actions can cause the opioid effect to work more quickly and facilitate a more powerful high.

As touched on above, when people snort Percocet, they want the opioid effects to occur faster. This could mean they want pain relief faster, but it could also be a way to feel high faster. The onset of the effects of Percocet happens much more quickly if Percocet is taken improperly, but this also causes a faster increase in the body’s tolerance to the drug. As tolerance and physical dependence develop, the body needs more Percocet to achieve the same results.

When someone takes a high dose of Percocet, it passes the blood-brain barrier more easily than a dose of Percocet taken orally because it doesn’t have to first travel through the digestive tract before going to the bloodstream.

When someone is snorting Percocet, they may feel the effects within two to four minutes. After Percocet reaches the brain, it acts in the same way as it would when taken any other way, by attaching to the opioid receptors of the central nervous system.

There is an increased risk of overdose and other negative effects when high doses of Percocet are taken.

In addition to the higher risk of overdose, the following are other potential side effects and dangers of snorting Percocet:

  • Higher risk of cardiac arrest and an abnormally slow heart rate
  • Higher risk of having an accident
  • Increased likelihood of addiction
  • Damage to your nasal passages
  • Increased risk of bacterial infections
  • Risk of acute or severe bronchial asthma

Other general side effects of Percocet that can be amplified by snorting it include confusion, anxiety, changes in blood pressure, heart rate changes, itchy skin, fever, fatigue, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.

Also, if a person is snorting Percocet and then combining it with other substances, in particular alcohol or tranquilizers that also act as depressants, they may experience respiratory depression, coma or death.

If someone is snorting Percocet, even if they say it’s for pain relief, they are abusing the drug. Any time a person is taking a prescription drug outside of how it’s directed, it’s abuse. Snorting Percocet increases the potency and onset of the effects of the drug, but it’s also associated with a higher risk of overdose and serious health problems, as well as increasing risk of addiction and dependence.