Health Insurance

Oxycodone and Alcohol: Know the Risks of This Combination

drinking on oxycodone

Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that works by slowing down parts of the brain and inducing feelings of relaxation and intoxication. It is the most commonly abused drug in the United States, causing alcohol use disorder in 6% of the population. The article describes the risks of taking Percocet with alcohol, including the signs and symptoms of a medical emergency. Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with oxycodone. You should refer to the prescribing information for oxycodone for a complete list of interactions.

drinking on oxycodone

If an opioid overdose is suspected, naloxone can be given to reverse the effects of an overdose. Narcan (naloxone)—either injected into muscle or sprayed into the nose—binds to opioid receptors in the brain, and can help stop the overdose for a period of time. Combining oxycodone with alcohol can have unwanted, unpredictable, and dangerous consequences. Both drugs can both make you drowsy, light-headed, and impair judgment. Some may mix the substances because they don’t believe the consequences will affect them, they don’t see the harm in it, or to achieve a unique high.

Outpatient treatment programs vary—some require daily attendance, whereas others meet a couple of times per week. Inpatient treatment is provided in special units of hospitals or medical clinics. It offers both medical detoxification (to help the individual through physical withdrawal symptoms) and rehabilitation services. The individual excessive alcohol use and risks to women’s health in inpatient treatment generally lives in the center anywhere from a month to a year. If you think someone is having an opioid overdose (e.g., slowed or stopped breathing, disoriented, blue lips), call 911 immediately. Excessive drinking/long-term alcohol misuse can lead to serious issues with cognitive impairment and memory.

Oxycodone and Alcohol: A Potentially Lethal Combination

The drug reaches peach concentrations in the body within 1-2 hours following ingestion. Extended-release formulas of oxycodone can take 4-5 hours to reach peak concentrations in the body. The amount of oxycodone needed for pain relief varies depending on each individual’s pain levels and body.

Combining them regularly may lead to an individual being more apt to commit a crime, become the victim of a crime, or have potentially serious accidents. It could also lead to the loss of one’s career, important relationships, or freedom due to incarceration. Individuals often can’t conceptualize the ramifications of their behavior when they are under the influence of these drugs. Combining them can lead to an increased risk for self-harm or harm to others due to the behaviors individuals may engage in under the influence.

  1. Another medication, called naltrexone, blocks opioid receptors completely.
  2. Avoid grapefruit products and drinking alcohol or taking illegal or recreational drugs while taking oxycodone.
  3. Each year, over 100,000 people in the United States die from an overdose of opioid drugs like oxycodone.
  4. About 130 people in the United States die each day from overdosing on opioid drugs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

There are several treatments available for oxycodone or alcohol addiction. The effects of mixing them can include slowing or even stopping of breathing or the heart, and can be fatal. Because of the intoxicating effects of both drugs, people may forget that they took a Percocet dose and take another. Mixing alcohol and Percocet (oxycodone plus acetaminophen) can be dangerous. On their own, alcohol and Percoset can both slow breathing, impair judgment and coordination, and be toxic to the liver. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products.

More about oxycodone

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. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved medications to help treat alcohol addiction —naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. So even if you don’t feel the effects of Percocet, it doesn’t mean you don’t have any of the drug still in your system. art and creativity in addiction recovery If you decide to have a drink, you could very well find yourself drunker than usual and unable to operate a car or heavy machinery without extreme danger. There is no way to know how much or how little alcohol and Percoset are needed for an overdose to occur. Alcohol and oxycodone cause feelings of euphoria by stimulating the production of the “feel-good” hormones dopamine and serotonin.

drinking on oxycodone

This may include counseling, medication for the treatment of addiction, and regular visits to a treatment facility or support groups. 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. By binding to the receptors, opioids block pain signals to the brain and produce an analgesic or pain-relieving effect. Outpatient treatment is offered in health clinics, community mental health providers, counselors offices, hospital clinics, and residential programs.

Millions of people would very likely qualify for a formal diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder, the clinical term for a person who abuses or is addicted to alcohol. Taking alcohol and oxycodone together can amplify these effects, making you “drunker” than you might be drinking alcohol alone or “higher” than you might be taking oxycodone alone. The combination can be deadly, increasing the risk of injury, particularly if behind the wheel of a car. Percocet is a Schedule II prescription drug combining oxycodone (an opioid painkiller) with acetaminophen (better known by its brand name, Tylenol).

Emergency Treatment

While opioids don’t work in the same way, they do have effects that slow down the central nervous system. 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 does marijuana kill brain cells lowering withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Ultimately, there is no “safe” amount of alcohol to drink if you are on Percoset. 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.

Schedule II drugs are those that pose a high risk of dependence (addiction). Medicines that interact with oxycodone may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with oxycodone. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. 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. This is because the enzyme your body uses to break down acetaminophen (called CYP2E1) also breaks down alcohol.

Overdoses involving opioids killed nearly 47,000 people in 2018, and 32% of those deaths involved prescription opioids. Nonetheless, according to SAMHSA, people who abuse opiate drugs recreationally very commonly mix them with other CNS depressant drugs like alcohol. Alcohol is also a CNS depressant substance; however, alcohol can be legally purchased by individuals who are of legal age (21 years and up) in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in the United States.

This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 10 Mar 2024) and others. Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors, creating an analgesic effect by blocking pain signals to the brain. A person can decide on a treatment plan with a health care professional or specialist in addiction and recovery.

Beaux Pilgrim

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