Have you recently returned from a long trip or just started a new job? If so, your employer has the right to request a drug test to see if you’re fit for work, and consequences can ensue if the test does come back positive. With 11.7% of Americans taking drugs recreationally, it’s no wonder people turn to Google to try to solve their worries. How do I get XYZ out of my system before work? How do I ‘cheat’ the drug test?
If dabbling with drugs goes deeper than a few beers over the weekend, then you might have to start taking the idea of addiction more seriously. Just because you’re coping or believe you’re in control doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem. Coming to terms with your addiction will help you understand what to do in a situation when a drug test does arise and why you should never try to detox cold turkey.
In this blog, we delve into how long Percocet stays in your system and the effects it can have on your life.
Utah and Drug Addiction
Out of all American states, you’d think that Utah would be a drug-free haven. After all, the laws are much stricter, with possession of drugs amounting to a second-degree felony – alcohol content is even restricted to 4% volume. So, why is there such a problem with drugs, and in particular, opioids?
While Percocet and methadone are popular drugs of choice, other opioid drugs commonly used include fentanyl and heroin. In fact, 70% of all overdoses in Utah are related to opioids. The reason for this drug problem is simple; what’s restricted or prohibited can often have the opposite effect, causing more people to try harmful drugs without any control. There are also problems surrounding a lack of information available and openness.
Since drugs and alcohol are so prohibited and frowned upon, limited information circulates on the harm that they can cause. This makes it easier for people to develop an addiction to a medication, such as Percocet, when prescribed to treat medical issues, including moderate to severe pain. It’s a mentality of, “if the doctor prescribes it, it can’t be harmful.”
What Are Drug Tests?
Simply put, drug testing uses a combination of samples from urine, blood, and hair to help detect illegal substances in the body. It’s often performed by the police, though employers can ask staff to take one.
There are four main types of drug testing, including:
- Urine tests
- Saliva tests
- A hair test
- A blood test
Whether you have taken your first dose, half a dose, or a full dose, the tests will still be able to detect trace amounts of Percocet. Since drugs can stay in your body for forty-eight hours or more, tests can be used to ascertain whether you have taken an illegal substance very easily. This is why it’s essential for medical notes to be issued if prescription medications are prescribed, as they will show up in your system and tests regardless.
What Is Percocet?
Percocet belongs to a class of drugs known as opioids, commonly prescribed by a medical provider for pain relief in the form of prescription medication. The active ingredient in Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, causing it to interact with receptors and alleviate pain. However, prescription opioids are just as addictive as those taken recreationally. Since Percocet can help treat moderate and severe pain, it’s easy to believe it’s harmless, but it’s not.
When Percocet is taken over a prolonged period, the body soon depends on the drug, meaning higher doses are required for the same effect to be achieved. Not only does this come with health risks, but it also increases the chance of substance use, substance abuse, addiction, and overdose.
The Side Effects of Percocet
Made from short-acting oxycodone, Percocet is absorbed into the bloodstream fast, causing side effects and health issues to crop up quickly after consumption. Though the side effects of drugs are similar, there are ones specific to Percocet that you should be aware of, such as:
- Breathing problems
- Damaged liver function
- Nausea and vomiting
- Kidney failure
- Weak bones
- Sexual dysfunction
- Overdose and, in some cases, death
- Increased anxiety and depression
If you take prescription opioids, including Percocet, in combination with other drugs, like antifungal agents, you are at an increased risk of severe side effects, including respiratory depression, which includes symptoms such as excessive dizziness and shallow breathing.
Though it can be daunting to face up to the reality of drug use, seeking addiction treatment is the first step to recovery, and there’s a range of treatment facilities out there that are ready to help you.
How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?
Percocet can stay in your system for up to nineteen hours; however, this will all depend on a range of different factors. In general, the average half-life of Percocet is anywhere between four to six hours (the time it takes for a half-dose to work its way out of the body).
However, just because opioids can leave the body in a matter of hours doesn’t mean they won’t show up on drug tests. In reality, a test can uncover traces of drugs as long as ninety days after the last dose.
Factors That Affect Percocet Detection
Though tests are adept at finding all traces of drugs, there are a few factors that will determine the rate at which Percocet leaves your system. Three of the main factors include the time span of the drug addiction, age, and metabolic rate.
Percocet’s half-life increases if you are a long-term, chronic user. This is because long-term drug use gives fatty tissues more time to absorb opioids, making it difficult for the liver to process and get rid of Percocet. Traces of Percocet will then tend to stay within bodily fluids before they leave one’s system.
In general, younger adults are better able to process and clear their systems of Percocet than elderly people (those over the age of 65). This is down to several factors, including health, hydration levels, and metabolic rate.
Those with a faster metabolic rate will excrete the drug from their systems much quicker.
The Solution to Drug Tests
If you’ve got a drug test coming up, you might think that quitting cold turkey a few days beforehand will do the trick, but it’s a lot more dangerous. You’ve built up a dependency on Percocet, so your body is going to react strongly if you suddenly quit. This increases your risk of experiencing a series of uncomfortable and often painful withdrawal symptoms that happen due to your body’s response to coming off drugs.
According to American Addiction Centers, typical withdrawal symptoms include:
- Joint aches and severe pain in your body
- Nausea and vomiting
- Anxiety and depression
- Tremors, chills, and shakes
- Increased heart rate
As well as being potentially dangerous to your health, quitting cold turkey won’t necessarily give you a negative test result. As we’ve mentioned before, when asking how long does Percocet stay in your system, it’s important to remember that traces of the drug can be found for up to ninety days after your last dosage.
Instead of trying to force the drug out of your system, it’s best to listen to professional medical advice and visit treatment centers to determine your treatment options. In doing so, you can undergo addiction treatment and medical detox in a safe, supervised setting.
Drug tests might be a nuisance, but you won’t have to worry about them when you’re sober. You might have to take a couple now and again for employment purposes, but once you’ve achieved sobriety, you’ll have nothing to hide.
Irrespective of how fast you might want to speed up your addiction treatment, you should never quit cold turkey. There are many excellent addiction treatment centers out there that are willing to give you a chance and provide you with the support you need to recover fully.