Fake Percocet is purchased on the street. People think they are buying legitimate Percocet, but dealers swap it out for something else or mix it with other drugs. The results of taking fake Percocet could be deadly. So, how to tell if a Percocet is real or not? We’ll delve into that here.
How Abuse Starts
In recent years, the nation has seen the opioid crisis explode. As a result, more people are buying prescription medications on the street, on the dark web, and through nefarious sellers on social media.
People may initially start using Percocet through a legitimate prescription from their doctor. They may be given the prescription after surgery or an accident. Others may receive it due to chronic pain issues.
It is easy for Percocet use to escalate. The body quickly forms a tolerance of opioids, and the same dose is no longer effective. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says tolerance “happens when a person no longer responds to the drug in the way they did at first.” When tolerance occurs, a Percocet user may increase their dosage to experience the pain-relieving and often euphoric effects of the drug again. People can run out of the prescription faster from taking more pills than prescribed. They might visit another doctor in an attempt to get another prescription, but this game will eventually end, thanks to prescription monitoring databases.
Before long, they may turn to buy Percocet through sellers who have no good intentions.
What is Fake Percocet?
Drug dealers regularly cut drugs with other substances to increase their supply and make a bigger profit. This reduces the purity of the drug.
They may also sell other substances in lieu of the advertised substance. For example, many dealers are now lacing drugs with fentanyl. This potent substance is much stronger in smaller doses. It can give users a cheaper, stronger high. It can also very easily result in deadly overdose.
Percocet that is sold on the street may be legitimate Percocet. People may sell their genuine prescription drugs, or dealers may rob pharmacies to get their product.
In other instances, dealers sell fake Percocet. This is a product that is sold as Percocet, and might even look exactly like Percocet, but it is not the drug. It may be another opioid, it may simply be diluted or cut with oxycodone, or it may be another substance altogether.
Fake or counterfeit drugs are those that appear to be one drug but really are another.
Fake Percocet could include just about any substance out there. Household powders like detergents or baby powder are frequently cut into drugs like oxycodone. These inactive substances can be dangerous since they aren’t intended for human consumption.
Some of the ingredients that are cut into fake Percocet can be:
- Baking soda
- Laundry detergent
- Rat poison
- Crushed over-the-counter pills and painkillers
Dealers may cut fake Percocet with other substances of abuse, such as benzodiazepines, stimulants, or other opioids. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently issued a public safety alert that states fake pills with fentanyl have “jumped nearly 430 percent since 2019.” Their labs have also found that two out of every five pills were laced with a possibly lethal dose of fentanyl. A lethal dose is as tiny as 2 mg (milligrams).
The DEA has been confiscating fake Percocet and other drugs in almost every state in the country. The seriousness of counterfeit prescription opioids sold online and social media apps are underscored by this NBC News report. In it, the news organization says the DEA seized 600,000 counterfeit prescription pills made to look like real Percocet and other legitimate prescription medications.
Mixing drugs can create many unwanted side effects. If someone thinks they are taking a low dose of a painkiller, but it is really a potent blend of an opioid and a benzodiazepine, the results can be life-threatening. Often, drugs are cut more than once prior to being sold to the user. Unscrupulous drug dealers often use the above ingredients to stretch the amount of Percocet they have so they can make more money. When these ingredients or fentanyl is mixed into the Percocet, the risk of overdosing is greater, as is the risk of death.
How Do I Tell if a Percocet Pill is Fake?
Drug traffickers are good at making fake pills look real by using illegal, sophisticated pill presses to stamp names or numbers directly onto the fake drug.
Sometimes, the fake Percocet pills have the name written in all caps on one side, but the word is not pressed as deeply as it is on the real thing. The Percocet stamp may also be at a slight angle. This is one way to distinguish between the real and fake Percocet pills.
Oxycodone, one of the main chemicals in Percocet, is one of the primary counterfeit pills street and online drug dealers sell, and often, it is sold as Percocet. The fake pills look similar to the authentic pills, as you can see in the images released by the DEA. Unscrupulous drug dealers will go to great lengths to make the fake percs look like the real percs. However, there are some finer points when examining the real from the fake, such as the fake oxycodone pills seem to have a cleaner imprint of the M on the front of the pill and the 30 on the back of the pill. The M and the 30 on the authentic pills are not so clearly imprinted.
There may be a vinegary odor, which may indicate it was cut with heroin, or rough edges, implying that the drug was not manufactured in a commercial facility. If the pill appears to be comprised of large freckles, it may be a counterfeit that is cut with fentanyl. These are smart ways of determining if the pill is real or fake.
However, there is no surefire way to tell if a Percocet pill is fake without testing it in a lab.
The only way to avoid taking a fake Percocet pill is not take anything bought on the street. Only take Percocet if it comes from a licensed pharmacy, and you have a legitimate prescription.
Can I Test My Drugs?
Yes, there are ways to test the drugs you bought online, social media apps, or on the street to see if they have fentanyl in them.
Drug testing kits can be purchased at local drugstores or online. Fentanyl testing kits are becoming more available due to the high prevalence of fentanyl overdose.
When testing a drug, it is recommended that you crush the pill so it can have the best interaction with the testing solution. If you have a counterfeit drug, the testing solution will react by changing colors.
Most tests come with a chart listing the drug and corresponding color if present. To test a drug, you only need a small sample.
A positive result on a test does not measure how pure the drug is. It simply indicates the presence of a particular drug.
Depending on the degree to which your drug is cut, you may see a spattering of colors alerting you to the presence of different substances. If you detect this spattering of colors, do not take any pill from the source from which you bought the pills. You will not know what substances are in those pills. Even inactive common household ingredients, like talcum powder or baking flour, can wreak havoc on your health or potentially take your life.
These basic testing kits will not give you the same level of detail that testing in a professional lab does. They are most commonly used to test for fentanyl since it is so deadly. If fentanyl is detected in your fake Percocet, do not take it.
Can Percocet Be Safely Used for Recreational Purposes?
It simply is not safe to take any Percocet that has not been legitimately prescribed to you and purchased from a professional pharmacy.
Recreational use of Percocet is detrimental to your health. It may cause constipation, liver damage, sexual dysfunction, and a physical and mental dependency leading to severe withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped suddenly.
Withdrawal symptoms from Percocet make many people feel like they have a very bad case of the flu and can be painful. Complications may arise that can include vomiting and aspiration, which is breathing in stomach contents into the lungs. Withdrawal symptoms often cause people who abuse Percocet for recreational purposes to seek the drug from unlawful sellers.
Addiction can lead to a bevy of dangers, including drug-seeking behaviors that may lead you to purchase Percocet on the street.
If you are at this point, seek professional help. It’s readily available and can help you turn your life around.
Arete Recovery has helped numerous individuals overcome their Percocet addiction and lead full, healthy, and drug-free lives. Located in southwestern Broward County, Florida, we are an accredited and licensed substance use and mental health treatment center staffed by caring, dedicated medical and addiction professionals. Now is the right time to get help with your opioid use disorder and learn how to live your life to the fullest.