Mixing Percocet and Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances globally. Widely accepted across many cultures, alcohol addiction can be difficult to pinpoint and once a problem has developed, it’s difficult to intervene. The dangerous effects of alcohol are increased when used in combination with other substances, including prescription drugs. Even if being used with a legitimate prescription, there are severe risks involved with combining alcohol and prescription medications.

Here we will look at the specific dangers of mixing alcohol with Percocet, a commonly used opioid. Typically individuals will be prescribed Percocet after surgery or to manage chronic to severe pain, but the substance, unfortunately, comes with a high risk of abuse. The combination of alcohol and opioid medications increases the health risks and brings a higher chance of addiction.

If you are on a prescription of Percocet, ensure you have a complete understanding of the drug and the way it interacts with other substances.

What is Percocet?

Percocet is the brand name for a prescription medication that is used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Belonging to the opioid group, two of the active ingredients in this drug are acetaminophen and oxycodone.

Oxycodone is a narcotic which is synthetically made in a lab to replicate the opiate, morphine. Alongside Percocet, other brand names for oxycodone include Percodan and OxyContin. Percocet was widely used in the 1970s, whereas OxyContin is a newer substance and was FDA approved in 1995, with an introduction to the US market in 1996.

Oxycodone is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which means it’s under the same classification as heroin. This states that although there are defined medical purposes, it carries a high risk of abuse.

The other ingredient of Percocet is acetaminophen. Although on its own and in prescribed quantities, acetaminophen can be a harmless pain relief medication, but when combined with alcohol, it can bring serious risks to the user. In particular, it can have lasting and damaging effects on the liver. Alcohol also damages the liver, so the combination of acetaminophen and alcohol poses a higher risk and intensity of liver damage.

These two substances together also damage the lining of the stomach which can bring an increased chance of ulcers. If ulcers are left untreated, they run a risk of becoming septic, and this can cause fatal bleeding and infections.

How Does Percocet Work?

Percocet works by inhibiting pain signals traveling through the nerves to the brain. Interacting with the central nervous system, the substance interferes with heart rate and respiration. This can result in severe dangers if the substance is abused.

The Effects of Percocet

The effects of Percocet can include the following:

  • Mild euphoria
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased confidence
  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Side Effects of Percocet

Additionally, there are some dangerous side effects of the substance. These can occur whether the drug is being used on a prescription basis or illicitly. Side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Skin itching
  • Vomiting

Abusing Percocet can lead to addiction. Abuse is classified as when you take more of a substance than you are prescribed. If you start to use a higher dose of Percocet or take it more frequently than prescribed, this is Percocet abuse.

Drinking Alcohol and Abusing Pain Relief Medication

Despite their legitimate functions, many medications – prescription and over-the-counter – have the ability to interact dangerously with alcohol. Using substances simultaneously can affect the way each drug is metabolized by the body or the way it behaves in the system. This can have serious, sometimes life-threatening consequences. One example of a high-risk interaction is when sedative medications and alcohol are consumed together. In combination, these substances can enhance each other and impair a person’s ability to safely function.

Percocet and alcohol are both central nervous system (CNS) depressants. If mixed, it can result in drowsiness and liver damage. Additionally, the drowsiness caused by this combination can lead to secondary accidents.

Alone, Percocet and alcohol both have the ability to cause respiratory depression. This results in slowed breathing, and in some cases even an inability to breathe. The oxygen deprivation which comes as a result of breathing difficulties can lead to organ failure, coma and – without medical attention – death.

Some individuals may not intentionally combine the substances, however without fully understanding the risks and interactions, they can still put themselves at risk. Percocet has a half-life of just under four hours. This means half a dose of Percocet is metabolized during this time. If prescribed for chronic pain, the prescription may take 20 hours to be cleared from the system. Drinking alcohol within this time can increase the damaging effects of both substances.

Symptoms of Mixing Alcohol and Percocet

Both alcohol and Percocet have side effects when used in isolation. These effects are increased when combined, and they also bring further implications for the user.

Possible side effects of this combination include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Heart problems
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Liver damage
  • Respiratory depression
  • Internal bleeding

Overdose Risk

Choosing to drink alcohol and use prescription opioids is a severely dangerous and costly decision. The combination of these substances can result in overdose, and impacts your chances of survival should an overdose occur. Naloxone, the most common opioid overdose reversal drug, is less effective with the presence of other substances in the body.

Additionally, individuals who use both substances are likely to develop a higher tolerance to both drugs, which means they need higher quantities to feel the same high. This increases the likelihood of an overdose.

Symptoms of a Percocet overdose may be a severe manifestation of symptoms associated with abusing the drug. However, they may also include:

Overdose Symptoms

  • Stomach cramps
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Coma
  • Breathing issues
  • Blue fingernails and lips

These symptoms can be dangerous and, in some cases, life-threatening. Understanding the process of withdrawing from this substance and how you can go through withdrawal safely increases your chance of safely finding sobriety.

Addiction Treatment for Substance Abuse

Both Percocet and alcohol are associated with risky, potentially fatal, withdrawal symptoms. The most severe symptoms include Delirium Tremens (DTs), depression, and seizures.

For this reason, most experts recommend taking part in a medically supervised detox to reduce the risk of overdose and other distressing symptoms of withdrawal.

Drug addiction is not a reflection of somebody’s character. Often, individuals engage in drug use to manage feelings of symptoms of other mental health issues. Abusing prescription painkillers and alcohol can both alter the brain’s structure and function, resulting in severe cravings and urges to use. This can make sobriety feel impossible. The good news is recovery is possible and you too can find a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.

If you are ready to reach out and seek help for Percocet and alcohol abuse, help is available in many forms. You can discuss your options with your doctor, a local addiction counselor, or join a support group. There are many treatment options to choose from but the process will always start with detox. Choosing to do this in the safe environment of treatment facilities increases your chances of a full and sustained recovery.

After you have cleared the toxins from your body you may engage with a combination of behavioral therapies and medical treatment to keep you on the right track for a healthier life.

Medical Detox

If you are living with a substance use disorder, it’s highly recommended you seek professional medical advice.

Getting through an addiction is a challenging process and research generally finds that medically supervised, inpatient programs are more successful. This is due to a number of factors including:

  • The removal of triggers
  • Round-the-clock care
  • Medical intervention
  • A safe environment
  • A supportive community

Rehabilitation centers also usually offer aftercare support. This gives stability to individuals coming out of treatment and ensures they have support during the challenging days ahead.

This could include individual and family therapy sessions, access to support groups, and life skills training. These offerings usually have a multi-focus, supporting individuals to get through their addiction while also helping them to create a life where they can stay sober.

Help is Available

Our mission at NP Addiction clinic is to provide you with the most comprehensive and compassionate care possible. We know that every addiction is unique and we reflect this in our tailored recovery treatment programs.

We are a top-tier inpatient addiction and mental health clinic serving clients in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We offer a wide range of evidence-based therapies and treatment modalities administered by leading specialists in holistic mental health, alcohol, and drug abuse.

We work on a client-focused basis, using a variety of treatment methods which include:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Education and life skills sessions
  • Alternative therapies including art, music, and recreation
  • Family therapy
  • Transition support
  • Alumni activities

If you are living with alcohol abuse or opioid addiction, you’re not alone. Your future can be substance free.

Get in touch with a member of our team at (888) 574-3506. We will be happy to take your call and answer any questions you might have.

 

Begin the first day of the rest of your life

To find out more contact our team

RELATED ARTICLES

A person suffering from anxiety disorder because they never found out the answer to the question: "what is an anxiety disorder"
Mental Health

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

And do I have an anxiety disorder? Sweaty palms. Rapid breath. Racing heartbeat. A feeling like you can’t get enough breath? Like the walls are

Read More »

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine