Vicodin has remained a popular choice as a painkiller for post-surgical discomfort and moderate pain levels. A combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, Vicodin is widely prescribed but often poorly understood even by patients taking the drug.
Various Things You Might Not Know About Vicodin
Here are a few surprising facts about Vicodin intake, abuse and addiction.
- Vicodin is also known by its generic name, hydrocodone.
- Because of the opiate analgesic’s high acetaminophen content, Vicodin addiction can have ravaging effects on the liver.
- Street names for Vicodin include “vikes,” “V,” “hydros” and “Watson 387” – a reference to the stamped imprint located on the generic form of the drug.
- Due to its antitussive properties, Vicodin is considered a more potent cough medicine than codeine.
- Vicodin withdrawal — particularly if unsupervised — can result in fatalities, particularly due to seizures, liver failure or organ failure after intake with alcohol.
- Vicodin and similar prescription opioids often are acquired through illegal means — including forged prescriptions, multiple prescriptions, medical theft and “doctor shopping” (the fabrication or exaggeration of medical conditions to procure a Vicodin prescription).
- Individuals across the country who are currently addicted to Vicodin number almost two million Americans.
- Almost 10 percent of high school seniors have used Vicodin by their last year of high school.
- Over the last decade, misuse of Vicodin has grown by more than 300 percent in the United States alone.
- Vicodin was misused by over 20,000 Americans during 2008, exclusively for non-medical use, according to a NSDUH study conducted on drug use in the United States.
- In the country’s major 18 metropolitan areas, Vicodin was included in the 10 most frequently used drugs that caused death, according to a Drug Abuse Warning Network’s Mortality Data Report published in 2002.
- Vicodin landed more than 40,000 individuals in hospital emergency rooms nationwide in 2004 alone.
- According to the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS), Vicodin constituted nearly 38,000 pieces of evidence and was the opiate drug most often tested in drug cases.
- According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), 2007 saw nearly 25,000 Vicodin-related issues, including more than 10,000 instances of exposure – and a chilling 23 Vicodin-induced deaths.
- Vicodin – in its brand-name and generic forms – accounted for 136 million prescriptions issued in 2008 alone.
- In the eight years between 2000 and 2008, Vicodin prescriptions increased by more than half in the U.S.
- Despite Vicodin’s popularity, the brand name remains one of among 100 drugs containing the same active ingredient – hydrocodone.
- Despite the plethora of drugs containing hydrocodone, Vicodin (along with Lortab) remains the most frequently written prescription opioids in the United States.