Percocet is almost always prescribed in pill form intended for oral delivery. Surveys given to people who have abused prescription opioids report that their use starts as oral, but often moves towards snorting Percocet.
The Percocet pill is ground into a fine powder and snorted, which drastically increases the speed at which it’s absorbed by the body. People who take Percocet recreationally report taking a pill orally along with snorting a pill in order to achieve two distinct highs.
Dangers with Snorting Percocet
Prescription opioids spawned the current opioid epidemic because of their addictive nature and the rate at which they’re prescribed. They are some of the most effective pain management tools medicine has, but they quickly form dependencies which may lead to an opioid use disorder. While opioids carry an inherent risk of chemical dependence, snorting them can cause other health issues.
- Sinus infections
- Lung infection
- Sores throughout the nose and into the mouth
- Nose bleeds
- Progressive drug use
Frequent infections can cause serious damage. Oftentimes, bacteria are carried from whatever snorting tool is being used (dollar bill, used straw, table, hand) into the nose, and it can manifest as an infection. Usually, by the time a use disorder becomes severe enough to cause significant damage to the person using Percocet, they’ve moved onto alternative methods and drugs.
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The Road to Heroin
Buying and injecting heroin seem so extreme to most individuals without a use disorder that it can be hard to understand how someone gets to that point. When talking to people who started as legal drug users and progressed to heroin use, it becomes much clearer as to the steps involved.
Oftentimes prescription opioid use disorders start when someone is injured or undergoes surgery. In order to recover, they’re prescribed a drug like Percocet, which can quickly enable a chemical dependency. Once their direct access to prescription medication dries up, they may look elsewhere for more. Friends, family, dealers, etc. can all source illicit prescriptions for them.
New Options: Snorting Percocet
This stage is where experimentation with snorting Percocet usually starts. After having taken the pills orally for their injury and burgeoning dependence, they may have started interacting with people who influence them to try other methods. Prescription opioids are a more expensive option, so as an addiction becomes more desperate and the person using needs more to get similar highs, they’ll eventually resort to illegal options.
Introduction to Heroin
Though the media almost exclusively portrays heroin as an intravenous drug, it can also be smoked and snorted in its purer forms. People supporting prescription opioid snorting habits often find snorting heroin a more palatable next step because of the familiar delivery method. Heroin is typically cheaper than Percocet and depending on location it may be more readily available.
Habits like these can only be sustained for so long before money becomes problematic. Lower quality heroin is much cheaper than pure heroin or prescription opioid options. The lower the quality, the more likely it is that it needs to be injected intravenously. At this point in someone’s drug journey, they’re likely to know people who inject heroin which makes trying it easier.
Avoiding the Pitfalls
The consequences associated with opioid dependencies drive home the importance of avoiding getting hooked. Avoiding all possibility of injury may lead to an opioid prescription is not a realistic way to live, but there are ways to minimize risk if you do need a prescription.
Follow the Prescription
When a doctor writes a prescription, they’re using their expertise and experience to determine a safe amount for you. Taking more than the recommended dose or taking the medication for longer than intended drastically increases your risk of dependence.
If you find yourself unable to handle a developing use disorder, there are treatment providers available who can help. The opioid epidemic is affecting people from all over the US, no matter their location or socioeconomic status. It’s an issue that can escalate and become overwhelming quickly, so asking for help is one of the best ways to get out before any serious damage is done.