Vicodin is a prescription painkiller that contains acetaminophen and hydrocodone. The hydrocodone portion of the drug is derived from opium and can be highly addictive. According to a 2009 report from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) which attempts to determine addiction rates by recording the number of emergency room visits related to various substances prescription drugs such as Vicodin were responsible for more emergency visits than illegal drugs.
Vicodin Abuse Statistics
Prescription drug addiction can affect people of all ages, races and walks of life. DAWN notes that since 2004, incidents involving prescription drug abuse have increased 45% among patients under 21 years of age, 111% among those over 21 years of age and 121% among those over 50 years of age. The same report goes on to say that roughly half of all prescription drug abuse involved painkillers like Vicodin.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) regularly distributes a questionnaire, known as the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, which asks 45,000 students in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades about their drug use. This survey has found that a growing number of students abuse prescription pain medications. In 2008, 10% of high school seniors reported to have abused Vicodin. The percentage of young adults aged 19 to 30 who abuse Vicodin has also grown in recent years. A 2010 MTF report found that 9% of males and 7.5% of females in that age group have abused the medication.
How the Body Reacts to Vicodin
Opioids such as Vicodin are chemically related to other drugs derived from the opium poppy like heroin and morphine. Due to the chemical similarities between Vicodin and heroin, the drugs can cause similar effects. A user’s body does not know whether a drug is legal or illegal, it only recognizes the way in which the drug affects its neurotransmitter levels. As the body adapts to the drug’s effects, Vicodin abuse creates a cycle that can easily lead to dependence and addiction.
Finding Help for Vicodin Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with Vicodin addiction, please call our toll-free helpline. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about prescription drug abuse and treatment. Our phone counselors can even check your insurance coverage for you. Let us help you discover the right treatment options for your situation. Please call today and take the first step toward recovery.