What is Vicodin used for?

Straight facts on what vicodin is used for, both medically and for recreation. Come discuss the addictive qualities of Vicodin and its use here.

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What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is the brand name for a combination of drugs which mainly contain two pain killers: paracetemol and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opioid, which works by decreasing perception of pain, reaction to pain at the same time increasing tolerance for pain. Hydrocodone is also an antitussive, which help relieve coughing. According to the most recent version of the Controlled Substances Act, Vicodin is classed as a Schedule III narcotic drug by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) but it is currently being reviewed to be classed as a Schedule II narcotic. As a Schedule III narcotic, Vicodin has a current, accepted medical use and is viewed to have less potential for abuse than drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.

What is Vicodin Used For?

Vicodin is prescribed for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain.


Non medical uses of Vicodin

Recreational Vicodin use is reaching significant levels in the U.S., particularly among young people. In 2009, almost 10% of high school seniors reported past year use of Vicodin without a doctor’s prescription. But abuse of prescription drugs such as hydrocodone cut across educational, employment, racial, and geographical boundaries, according to a recent White House Office of National Drug Control Policy analysis. Because it is an opioid, Vicodin can be used for both its numbing effects and to trigger euphoric feelings. In fact, opioid medications work on areas of the brain that control pleasure perception, and taking Vicodin can result in an extreme sense of well-being. This is why people primarily use Vicodin to:

* numb mental or emotional pain
* produce feelings of euphoria or well-being

Is Vicodin addictive?

Can I get addicted to Vicodin?  Vicodin is an opioid (similar in structure to codeine) and is highly addictive. The DEA recognizes that abuse of Vicodin (using Vicodin in higher than prescribed doses, more often than prescribed, or for reason other than health issues) may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.


Do you know someone who takes Vicodin? Do you know how to identify signs of Vicodin drug addiction…and if you did, would you ever confront the person? Please leave your comments or questions about Vicodin addiction below. We’ll be happy to respond in a post or video.

Reference sources: Monitoring the Future 2009
uscode [dot] house [dot] gov/download/pls/21C13.txt
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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