Vicodin is a trademarked pain reliever, popular and fairly well-known in America. Its component parts are hydrocodone and paracetamol (aka acetaminophen) [interesting fact: acetaminophen increases the effect of the hydrocodone. You might think it would be the other way around, since acetaminophen is best known to us as Tylenol, but that is not the case]. Anyway, Vicodin is not your average pain-reliever; unlike ibuprofen, which is an unscheduled drug, Vicodin is a Schedule III drug, meaning it could cause moderate or low physical dependence, or a high psychological dependence if abused.
We knew this already – but did you know that the FDA voted this past summer to recommend that Vicodin should be eliminated? The advisory panel that made this decision also singled out Percocet (a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen). As the CNN article on the subject notes, these are just recommendations from an advisory panel – but typically, the FDA follows them.
It’s certainly a controversial matter considering how much press prescription drugs in general, and Vicodin in particular, have received in the past few years. The FDA made its recommendation based on the risk of overdose and severe liver injury, but they could have as easily made the recommendation based on drug abuse, as 9.7% of 12th graders said they tried Vicodin in 2008 (see the National Institute on Drug Abuse for more). Prescription drugs have become the new face of illicit drug use, and the string of tragic high-profile deaths drove that home last year.
So it is up to all of us to raise awareness about how a drug that can be so helpful can be misused to get high with disastrous effects: addiction, drug trafficking, and overdose deaths. You can fortunately test for many prescription painkillers in one swoop with a Vicodin Test / OxyContin Test. Vicodin and OxyContin have hydocodone and oxycodone as the basis of their structure, respectively, and since both are opioids very similar in structure they can both be found with 98% accuracy in the same test. Definitely something to know when you are thinking about prescription drugs like Vicodin – a drug dangerous enough to almost be considered illegal.