When these two substances are mixed, each exacerbates the impact of the other. The results of the mixture can be disastrous, even deadly.
What is Percocet?
Percocet is an opioid medication that is prescribed as a painkiller. In fact, this drug is created from a synthetic opioid, oxycodone, that is mixed with acetaminophen, otherwise known as Tylenol. When administered, the drug binds to the brain's opioid receptors, produces euphoria, altering the body's pain response. The acetaminophen acts as an extra analgesic which, when effective, can reduce fever and mitigate pain.
The drug is prescribed to a wide range of pain sufferers. For instance, those who are in recovery from surgery, kidney stone patients, and others with acute or chronic pain issues. Problems can arise when the drug is over-prescribed or misused by the patient. In fact, Percocet is no small part of the opioid epidemic that has killed thousands of known victims.
Common Side Effects of Percocet
Percocet is not a benign substance and its side effects are numerous. However, one of the chief side effects of Percocet use is addiction and the devastation that comes with that malady. When a patient becomes addicted to Percocet, they are prone to committing criminal acts, physical harms, financial ruin, and personal devastation.
However, the most common medical side effects also include, but are not limited to:
Other side effects might include:
Interactions of Alcohol and Percocet
Percocet on its own is highly powerful and addictive. Though it is prescribed by medical professionals, it is frequently over-prescribed and can thus result in unnecessary addiction, suffering, and death. The problem with Percocet is only magnified when it is combined with another toxic, addictive, central nervous system depressant, Alcohol.
Mixing alcohol with Percocet is highly discouraged and has no valid purpose. When the two interact, they are known to enhance the effects of both. Since both are CNS depressants, a larger dose can result in depressed respiration, loss of consciousness, and death. In mild doses, victims may experience a loss of proper judgment, impaired thinking, and loss of psychomotor skills.
Since Percocet is a blend of a synthetic opioid and acetaminophen, the liver is under added threat when users mix the drug with a few cocktails. That is because both can compromise the liver in high enough doses. When all of these things are mixed, the effect on your liver is amplified. The medical literature downplays any possible damage in lower doses, but there is no need to take a risk with one's liver. In higher doses, mixing acetaminophen and alcohol alone can cause severe liver damage. That’s part of why it’s ill-advised to take acetaminophen to help cure a hangover.
Alcohol Poisoning and Percocet Overdose
When users begin mixing alcohol and Percocet, they experience enhanced effects, which are often quite attractive to the user. The strong effect sets the stage for higher tolerance, and eventually dependence as the user seeks to attain a higher high, or the same high, on the next use. They often need a higher dose to match or beat the previous experience. When usage escalates in this way, the user is in danger of experiencing alcohol poisoning and/or Percocet overdose.
When users experience alcohol poisoning, they display an array of alarming symptoms. While some of these may be disregarded as a normal part of drinking, it should be noted that alcohol poisoning can be fatal.
The symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include, but are not limited to:
Since Percocet is also a CNS depressant, it's worthwhile to compare the symptoms of alcohol poisoning with those for Percocet overdose, which include, but are not limited to:
Withdrawal from alcohol is a very dangerous prospect. In fact, drinkers who have developed a high dependence should seek medical care when they plan to stop. This is because alcoholics experience high anxiety during detoxification which can lead to extreme blood pressure and fatal heart attack. Opioid withdrawal is very dramatic and difficult, but it is not considered life threatening. Regardless, patients should seek out medical detoxification where possible, as medical professionals can ease the discomfort of any withdrawal symptoms you do experience.
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
Percocet withdrawal includes symptoms such as:
The acute detoxification process involved with opioid drugs is still intense, even if it’s not life-threatening. And the process of achieving long-term sobriety is difficult. Even years after the initial detoxification, patients can experience physical cravings for their drug. Thus, it's often recommended that those who are victims of opioids maintain a recovery network for years, if not decades. It is not unheard of for addicts to experience relapse after more than a decade. Often this happens because the addict is not prepared for upsetting life events or doesn’t have support when they happen. Then, when they experience a craving, they succumb and find a doctor who is willing to write a prescription.
Treatment for Percocet overdose is often administered by way of the drug Narcan, also known as Naloxone. That drug intervention is highly effective when an opioid victim is in the acute throes of an overdose. It operates by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain, thus blocking the drug causing the overdose. The person suffering from overdose will still need medical assistance, as Narcan will wear off after a relatively short time and they still have opioids in their system. However, once they’ve recovered from their overdose, with the help of medical professionals, the addict can commence with detoxification and then psychological treatment.
Detoxification from both opioids and alcohol should ideally also happen in the presence of medical professionals who can monitor their vital signs. While opioid withdrawal is not normally considered life-threatening, patients are known to experience high anxiety and an elevated heart-rate which can lead to cardiac arrest. During detoxification, most clinics will begin to involve patients with counseling and/or 12 step meetings.
Once discharged from a detox clinic, patients should immediately proceed to a rehabilitation facility. During rehab, patients can work to discover the causes and conditions of their addiction. Once they understand the physical and psychological aspects of their malady, they can work on solutions to the problem. For most addicts, this process is one that continues for a lifetime. That is not to say that they remain terminal patients, only that they continue the work of self-reflection and seek their best life every day.