Percocet and Depression

Studies have linked Percocet abuse as a potential cause of depression.

Table of Contents

What is Percocet?

Percocet is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe pain. Percocet is a combination drug consisting of oxycodone (an opioid) and acetaminophen (an analgesic). Percocet and depression are linked in several ways.

Can You Become Addicted to Percocet?

Percocet, like many prescription opioids, binds to and activates pain receptors in the body, releasing large amounts of dopamine and blocking pain signals. The release of dopamine leads to euphoria, and individuals who become addicted to Percocet will continue using the drug with increasing dosages to achieve the desired effects.1

Vicodin vs. Percocet

Vicodin and Percocet are both prescribed drugs meant to treat moderate to severe pain, and both are classified as opioid pain relievers. The difference between the two is that Percocet contains oxycodone while Vicodin contains hydrocodone.

Molly Percocet

Molly Percocet is when MDMA, otherwise known as Molly or ecstasy, is taken in conjunction with Percocet. While many people combine the drugs to increase their high, this can be a dangerous combination as some of the side effects are masked and can lead to overdose or addiction.

Percocet Dosages

Percocet dosages vary based on the prescription reason, and they are also based on the age and needs of the person taking it. Percocet is not typically recommended for children unless specifically prescribed by their doctor. Percocet can be taken in oral doses as capsules, tablets, extended-release tablets, or a liquid solution.2

Signs of Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder that affects one’s ability to live a normal, day-to-day life due to feelings of intense sadness or numbness. There is no single cause for depression, and the effects and symptoms can range from minor to severe.3

Common signs of depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, pessimism, or hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt and helplessness
  • Changes in mood, such as irritability
  • A marked loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Changes in sleep patterns and noticeable fatigue
  • A change in appetite either increased or decreased
  • Changes in productivity and difficulty concentrating
  • Physical changes, such as aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

Can Percocet Cause Depression?

The link between Percocet and depression has often been explored. A study published in a 2016 medical journal found that using opioid analgesics, such as Percocet, for longer than 30 days increases the likelihood of new-onset depression.4

Why Might a Person Turn to Percocet When Depressed?

Due to Percocet’s effect on the brain and the body’s pain receptors, a person with depression may turn to Percocet to mitigate some of the feelings and symptoms depression often brings.

How Can Percocet Make a Depressed Person Feel Better?

When opioids like Percocet enter the body, they attach to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and GI tract. Once attached, the drug reduces the transmission of pain messages to the brain, blocking pain and releasing dopamine.

For someone diagnosed with depression, this can help mask and alleviate many of depression’s symptoms and better cope with their day-to-day. That is how addiction to Percocet and depression can begin.

Treating Depression as a Co-Occurring Disorder

For those with substance abuse disorders, such as an addiction to Percocet, a dual diagnosis of depression is common.

Many treatment options are available for those seeking help with Percocet and depression, ranging from counseling with a licensed mental health professional to inpatient and outpatient detox to rehabilitation programs and more.


If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
623-523-4748 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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