Percodan is a prescription drug that combines oxycodone and aspirin in one medication. It is often prescribed for pain relief and sometimes to suppress a cough or treat other symptoms. Percodan is typically prescribed for post-surgery pain and other conditions that cause severe pain. The street names for Percodan include “Percs,” “Killers,” “Oceans,” and “OC.” It is sold by pharmacies in the form of a small, yellow pill.
Aspirin belongs to a group of drugs called “salicylates.” It is effective in reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Ingestion of aspirin and other salicylates can lead to rapid poisoning due to an overdose, however the dose that would be needed to cause acute poisoning would be large. A person who weighs about 150 pounds would need to consume more than thirty average-sized aspirin to develop even mild poisoning.
Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a “narcotic.” A narcotic is a psychoactive substance that induces sleep and euphoria. Opioids are a class of drugs that come from processing of the opium found in the opium poppy plant. Opioids work in the brain to produce a variety of effects, including the relief of pain.
Among well-known opioids are hydrocodone (trade name “Vicodin”), codeine, and morphine. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. Heroin is also an opioid. Opium is an opioid also. It is made from the cloudy sap that emerges when the seed pod of an opium poppy is punctured.
Percocet drugs are similar to Percodan. Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and Tylenol in the place of aspirin. Percocet is widely replacing Percodan, though many people still use Percodan.
What Makes Percodan Dangerous?
The component that makes Percodan dangerous is its oxycodone. The oxycodone content in most prescription Percodan ranges from 2.5 to 10 milligrams. Oxycodone is a strong opiate and an addictive substance. Federal controlled substance laws classify Percodan and other drugs containing oxycodone under Schedule II. This is the same classification as cocaine and morphine. This is because of its addictive characteristics.
Thus, the potential for abuse, addiction, and overdose can be high for Percodan users. These dangers are increased when the pills are taken without the prescription or supervision of a licensed physician. Percodan drugs that are resold on the streets can often be adulterated and mixed with other substances like amphetamines.
Among the other undesirable side effects of oxycodone are the following;
- Sedative Effect: Oxycodone induces sedation, which means that it slows brain activity and makes a person feel relaxed and even sleepy. This may impair a person’s reaction time and negatively affect their ability to drive or operate machinery. A person should avoid ingesting alcohol as the combination can lead to dangerous side effects or even prove fatal;
- Gastro-intestinal Distress: Constipation, nausea, and vomiting are other common side effects of ingesting oxycodone. These can lead to low blood pressure, which, in turn, increases the risk of falls;
- Other Unwanted Side-effects: Percodan may cause flushing, red eyes, sweating, and an itchy rash.
- Addictive at Regular Doses: Oxycodone should be reserved for more severe types of pain, such as that caused by advanced cancer. Oxycodone can be addictive, even at prescribed doses. It has a high potential for abuse for this reason, and personal supplies of oxycodone may be pursued by drug users. For this reason, a person who has a prescribed amount of Percodan would want to be careful about here they keep it and make sure the no other person has access to it;
- Respiratory Depression: Percodan can cause slow, shallow breathing, which may be life-threatening. The risk is greatest during the first 24 to 72 hours after the drug is taken or after a person takes an increased dosage. The risk is especially high for children, the elderly, or those with pre-existing respiratory disease, e.g. emphysema
What Are Some Percodan Legal Issues?
Possession of Percodan without a prescription from a licensed physician is illegal. Using or having Percodan in a way that is not directed by a doctor’s prescription can also cause a person serious legal problems.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies drugs on what they refer to as a “schedule” according to their potential for abuse and whether they have known medical or therapeutic uses. Schedule I drugs have the highest potential for abuse and no known or legally-approved medical use. Schedule II narcotics are prescribed to treat pain but also pose a high risk for abuse. All other drugs on the schedule have some valid medical use, with Schedule V drugs being considered controlled substances with the lowest risk of abuse.
Percodan is a Schedule II narcotic.
The unlawful manufacturing, distribution, use and possession of Percodan without the authority required by law, e.g. a prescription for possession, is illegal under both federal law and the law of all states. The DEA enforces federal law and a person caught doing any of these things would be charged with a federal crime. The penalties depend on various factors. One important factor is the type and amount of the drug involved. If the perpetrator exhibits an intent to distribute the substance, the penalties would be greater.
The punishment under federal law ranges from imprisonment from less than one year to imprisonment for life. A fine can also be imposed either as the sole punishment or in addition to a term of imprisonment. The fine can range from $1,000 to $4 million for a first offense. Other penalties are possible, such as forfeiture of property, including vehicles used in committing the crime and forfeiture of federal benefits, including student loans. Conviction of a drug crime may also result in future denial of professional licenses.
In recent years, Percodan has become associated with various criminal issues. For one, Percodan has become a major source of prescription drug crimes through illegal possession and resale. People often obtain Percodan illegally by stealing it or using fake prescriptions. They then sell it illegally. This contributes to drug addiction among the population.
Specific legal penalties for Percodan include jail time of from 1 to 5 years for illegal possession and fines. Distribution of Percodan without a license is a more serious offense that can lead to felony charges and punishment of up to 10 years in prison and higher criminal fines.
The unlawful manufacturing, distribution, use and possession of Percodan without the authority required by law is also illegal under the law in all states. For example, in Illinois, a Class 2 felony is punishable by 3 to 7 years in an Illinois state prison and fines of up to $25,000.
Possession with the intent to deliver Percodan, as a Schedule II drug, is a Class 2 felony in the state of Illinois.
If there are aggravating factors in a person’s case, the penalties for a Class 2 felony offense can be enhanced. Aggravating factors may include the fact that the crime was racially motivated or that the perpetrator used a firearm to commit the crime. An enhanced Class 2 felony is punishable by 4 to 14 years in an Illinois state prison.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Percodan Legal Issues?
Percodan is a Schedule II controlled substance under state and federal laws. Possessing and using it requires specific legal authority. Criminal laws vary by state, but possession of Percodan without a prescription is illegal in all of them.
You need to consult a drug lawyer experienced in the defense of drug crimes if you have any legal issues involving Percodan. Your attorney can advise you of your legal rights, and can help determine what types of defenses may apply to your case.