Vicodin is a widely prescribed prescription painkillerVicodin is a prescription painkiller that is made from a combination hydrocodone (a powerful painkiller) and acetaminophen (a mild painkiller that increases the effects of hydrocodone). Vicodin is prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is a central nervous system depressant that can induce sleep, prevent seizures and relieve anxiety. When abused, users can develop a tolerance for the drug, and may consume up to 20 pills a day – well above the recommended dosage. This makes Vicodin addiction very dangerous for the user. Vicodin is a Schedule III controlled substance.

Level 4 - Moderate Danger

Societal impact: 5

Prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing drug problems in the United States; in 2008, there were 14,800 deaths from prescription painkiller abuse, including Vicodin.

Recreational value: 3

When ground and snorted, Vicodin produces deep relaxation and feelings of euphoria.

Physical/emotional impact: 4

Prolonged abuse can lead to serious medical problems, including liver failure, urinary tract problems and jaundice. Taking Vicodin in combination with other prescription painkillers and alcohol increases the risk for overdose and death.

Potential for addictiveness: 5

Vicodin is extremely addictive and tolerance develops quickly when it is snorted; individuals who abuse Vicodin can become addicted after just a few times.

Vicodin Addiction Problems

Vicodin is a widely prescribed and readily available painkiller, and the tolerance to the drug increases rapidly. This results in Vicodin addiction sooner than the user may initially expect. As an opiate, the risks of abuse are high – too much, and the user may aspirate and potentially die. The relatively large amount of acetaminophen in Vicodin can also cause extremely dangerous liver problems when abused. If you, or someone you know, takes Vicodin regularly – either for a prescribed use or for their own enjoyment – it may be time for help. Use our Treatment Center Finder to locate a facility that has the programs and amenities they need to be successful in rehab.