Percocet is a commonly prescribed painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain. However, when misused, it can quickly lead to addiction. Understanding how long Percocet stays in your system is important for those taking it responsibly and for those concerned about detecting Percocet abuse.
What’s Percocet and How Does it Work?
Percocet contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone. Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and is used to treat mild pain. Oxycodone is a powerful narcotic pain reliever. Together, these ingredients provide more potent pain relief than either drug alone.
Percocet works quickly, providing pain relief within 30 minutes that peaks between 1-2 hours and lasts for 4-6 hours. However, oxycodone is highly addictive. In fact, the DEA classifies it as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and dependence.
So, how long do Percocet stay in your system once taken? Let’s find out.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?
The amount of time Percocet remains detectable in your system depends on the test type:
Urine: Percocet can be detected in urine for up to 3 days after last use. Urine tests are the most common way to screen for Percocet abuse.
Blood: Percocet remains detectable in blood for approximately 24 hours after ingestion. Blood tests can reveal very recent Percocet use.
Saliva: Oxycodone may be detectable in saliva for up to 2 days. However, saliva testing is less common than urine or blood.
Hair: Hair tests can detect Percocet for up to 90 days but are not typically used for employment screening.
Breastmilk: Percocet’s oxycodone can be found in breast milk for 2-3 days after use. Nursing mothers should consult their doctor before using Percocet.
The time Percocet stays in your system also depends on the individual. Factors like age, weight, metabolism, dosage, and frequency of use impact how quickly it is eliminated. Frequent or long-term users may retain Percocet longer than occasional users.
In general, Percocet stays in your system for approximately 1-4 days. However, metabolites and breakdown products can be detected much longer with more advanced drug screening.
Signs of Percocet Dependence
While Percocet can be safe when used responsibly, it carries a high risk of dependence. If you’re concerned about dependence, knowing how long does Percocet stay in your system can assist with spotting the signs, which include::
- Taking Percocet more often than directed or in higher doses than prescribed
- Feeling withdrawal when not taking it
- Obtaining extra doses illegally
- Hiding Percocet use from loved ones
- Prioritizing use over responsibilities
- Building tolerance, needing more for the same effect
Percocet dependence often leads to full-blown addiction. The brain adapts to the drug, requiring more just to feel normal. Quitting causes difficult withdrawal symptoms.
Getting Help for Percocet Addiction
Percocet addiction is treatable with professional help. Medical detox manages withdrawal symptoms while behavioral therapies address psychological dependence. Most rehabs taper patients off Percocet slowly to minimize discomfort.
The first step is consulting an addiction specialist. They can assess your situation and recommend the best treatment plan. With customized therapy and social support, you can overcome Percocet addiction for good. The important thing is taking that first step.