How Long Does Percocet Stay in Your System?

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A cursory glance at google searches about opiate medications tells me that there are a lot of people asking the question, “How long does Percocet stay in your system?” Percocet is a brand name drug that contains the non-narcotic pain reliever acetaminophen and the opiate painkiller oxycodone. It is easy to imagine that most people who are asking this question are worried about an upcoming drug test, either by an employer or by law enforcement. I think that is very unfortunate, as the criminalization of addiction has hurt many people for decades, and it does not seem to be ending anytime soon. Percocet, or rather the two drugs that go into Percocet, are only in your system for a short time in most cases. If a person takes Percocet once, in the recommended dose, it may be gone in 24 hours. The main problem for passing a drug test will be if that test is done on your hair follicles. The oxycodone in the Percocet will be present in trace amounts in your hair follicles for 30 days or more, depending on the length of your hair and when you took the Percocet. I think that it is most important to acknowledge that if anyone out there is taking Percocet every day or almost every day, quitting Percocet and other opiates can be much harder than people expect. 

There are both physical and psychological withdrawal effects, which I can write more about later this week, and people that find themselves taking too many opiates, such as Percocet, should investigate substance use disorder treatment options. There should not be any stigma associated with needing help to stop using a medication. We use medications because we need them, maybe because of an injury or a surgery, but many drugs have powerful addictive properties. Nearly anyone who takes opiates for longer than a week or so will have some trouble stopping, whether that is because the pain returns or because tolerance to these drugs causes people to need to take higher doses for the desired effect. Anytime you are taking more of a medication to get rid of pain, with opiates at least, you can probably expect some discomfort if you suddenly stop taking the medication. Doctors prescribe opiates to people, and doctors should be equally willing to help a patient stop taking opiates, such as Norco, Percocet, or any other opioid. If you are asking “how long does Percocet stay in your system?” the quick and easy answer is 1-2 days unless you are facing a hair follicle test. If you are in Florida, in the Florida Panhandle region, or anywhere else and you need more information on all the different options that exist for people with any level of a substance use disorder, please visit FLASprings.com and go to the programs page. It probably does not make any difference if I say that drug testing people is invasive and misguided in most cases, but if you have been taking Percocet for some time or in larger quantities than what is prescribed, it might be a good idea to look more into drug rehabilitation and treatment, whether for yourself or a family member. 

By Tim Cannon