Author: John Carter

Oxycodone and Alcohol: Know the Risks of This Combination

drinking on oxycodone

There is no doubt that alcohol is one of the most popular recreational drugs in the world. The country also has an extremely high rate of opioid prescriptions. The United States saw 43 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people in 2020. When alcohol is used in combination with opioids, the risk of respiratory depression increases exponentially. Some health officials have reported that 37% of overdose deaths caused by the combined use of alcohol and drugs involve opioids like oxycodone.

Because of the intoxicating effects of both drugs, people may forget that they took a Percocet dose and take another. In fact, more than 30,000 people are hospitalized each year in the United States for acute liver failure as a result of acetaminophen-induced liver damage. The study found that when a person combines alcohol with oxycodone, the number of times they temporarily stop breathing increases significantly, especially in elderly participants. Opioids work by binding to and activating opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body. These receptors are a type of protein known as G protein-coupled receptors.

drinking on oxycodone

Taking oxycodone together with alcohol can have very dangerous consequences. Combining the two can have a synergistic effect, meaning that the effect of both drugs together is greater than when they’re used separately. Avoid grapefruit products and drinking alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs while taking oxycodone. There is no safe amount of alcohol people can drink while taking opioids. When taken at the prescribed dose, acetaminophen found in Percocet is only mildly toxic to the liver. But when alcohol is added to the mix, the potential for hepatotoxicity (liver poisoning) increases.

Emergency Treatment

If you think someone is having an opioid overdose (e.g., slowed or stopped breathing, disoriented, blue lips), call 911 immediately. The amount of oxycodone needed for pain relief varies depending on each individual’s pain levels and body. Your healthcare provider will most likely start you on a low dose, and slowly increase until the pain is well-controlled. Using an opiate with alcohol would formally qualify as misuse of the drug due to the instructions on the label prohibiting the use of it in conjunction with alcohol. Therefore, some people may transition on to more prolonged or significant forms of substance abuse.

If left untreated, respiratory depression can quickly cause brain damage and ultimately cause someone to die. Researchers have found that drinking even a moderate amount of alcohol along with taking just one oxycodone pill is enough to risk respiratory depression. Studies have also shown that the elderly are most vulnerable to having a fatal oxycodone overdose after drinking alcohol. Since they are depressants, alcohol and oxycodone both slow down a person’s heart rate.

It also indicates oxycodone can only be used for specific purposes and according to a physician’s instructions. Many support resources are available to help with treatment or support if you or someone close to you has a drug addiction. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved medications to help treat alcohol addiction —naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

A 2017 study found that taking even one tablet of the opioid oxycodone with a modest amount of alcohol can increase the risk of respiratory depression. This causes breathing to become extremely shallow or stop altogether. It is possible for someone to be addicted to alcohol and to also have an addiction to oxycodone.

Risks of Percocet With Alcohol

Someone who lives with addiction to two or more substances suffers from co-occurring disorders. In many cases, co-occurring alcoholism and drug addiction may exist for years and inflict major consequences on someone’s health and wellbeing. However, co-occurring alcoholism and oxycodone addiction could quickly become a lethal condition. The combined effects of the two substances are likely to cause a medical emergency. Therefore, anyone who is addicted to both of them and uses them together will, almost certainly, eventually experience respiratory depression or suffer a heart attack.

  1. If this happens, organs may begin to shut down, and the person may eventually experience brain complications, coma, or death.
  2. Among the possible consequences of this are fainting, bradycardia (slowed heart rate), respiratory failure, heart attack, coma, and death.
  3. If you’re prescribed oxycodone, you should always be sure to follow your doctor or pharmacist’s directions carefully, and take it only as prescribed.
  4. It offers both medical detoxification (to help the individual through physical withdrawal symptoms) and rehabilitation services.
  5. Using an opiate with alcohol would formally qualify as misuse of the drug due to the instructions on the label prohibiting the use of it in conjunction with alcohol.

Since Percoset is only intended for short-term use (usually no longer than five days), it is best to simply cut out alcohol until at least 24 hours after stopping treatment. This is because the enzyme your body uses to break down acetaminophen (called CYP2E1) also breaks down alcohol. Due to the competition for the enzyme, less acetaminophen is broken down and more of the active drug remains in the bloodstream.

What is Percocet?

Another medication, called naltrexone, blocks opioid receptors completely. This makes it a good drug to help prevent relapse, although it should only be started after someone has completely withdrawn from opioids. Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone can be used to help treat addiction to opioids such as oxycodone. They work by binding to the same receptors in the brain as oxycodone, therefore lowering withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

OxyContin and other oxycodone-based medications can help patients safely manage moderate to severe pain when patients use them within the limits of their prescriptions. However, the effects of oxycodone can entice people to misuse these drugs. Oxycodone interacts with opioid receptors in the brain and blocks the transmission of pain signals in the nervous system.

Likewise, if a person experiences any signs of dependence, addiction, or withdrawal, they should seek help from a medical professional. A person must leave enough time between Percocet and alcohol consumption to avoid any interactions. If a person takes Percocet, they should talk with a doctor about safe alcohol use. This includes the dose and how long they have been taking the medication.Oxycodone has a half-life of about 3–5 hours.

Signs and Symptoms of Combined Percocet and Alcohol Use

Though many people drink as a form of relaxation, it actually often has the opposite effect and increases anxiety and stress. If a person consumes too much alcohol quickly, it can depress the central nervous system so much that it leads to respiratory failure, coma, or even death. This slow-acting medication is released into the bloodstream over time, helping treat several types of moderate to severe pain. Obviously, if combining two drugs enhances their effects, the potential for overdosing on either drug is enhanced, even if one uses relatively small amounts of both drugs in combinations. If a person is concerned they may have a dependency on Percocet or alcohol, they can seek help from a doctor. Doctors can provide medication-assisted treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms and help the person detox safely.

However, because of the way alcohol and oxycodone interact, even small amounts could cause dangerous side effects. Mixing them together may provide a more intense experience, but it could also cause drowsiness or loss of consciousness. Because of this, mixing the two can lead to potentially dangerous and even fatal complications, including loss of consciousness, stopped breathing, and heart failure. Percocet is a Schedule II prescription drug combining oxycodone (an opioid painkiller) with acetaminophen (better known by its brand name, Tylenol).