The main ingredient in Vicodin is hydrocodone. This opioid analgesic (pain reliever) is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The drug has a medical use but can only be used legally when prescribed. Vicodin is highly addictive and dangerous when misused and is considered a narcotic.


What is a Narcotic

Vicodin is mainly used for pain relief or to ease coughing. Narcotics such as this drug have a high level of abuse which can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples are morphine, opium, methadone and oxycodone (Oxycontin). Hydrocodone is a synthetic opiate, which is why Vicodin is classified as a legal narcotic.


A legal narcotic is a classification which is used for all medications which must be used under prescription. Narcotics are classified as either Schedule I, II or III by the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. In this system, drugs are classified as highly to relatively addictive. Illegal possession without a prescription of any drugs on this Schedule, including Vicodin, carries high penalties under the law.

Any medication containing less than 15 mg of hydrocodone is classified as a Schedule II drug, which Vicodin falls under in the schedule. This means that the drug has a potential for abuse less than substances in schedules I and II which may result in moderate to low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.


Addictive Properties

Psychological and physical dependence or tolerance may develop with prolonged and repeated use of Vicodin. Hydrocodone is one of the most addictive and abused narcotics with FDA warning labels which state Vicodin tablets should be administered with caution. Withdrawal from Vicodin can be painful, uncomfortable and last more than a week or so after last use.



Statistics related to Vicodin use indicate more ER visits and deaths associated prescription painkillers. These drugs have contributed to thousands of deaths which are on the increase, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control. Patients sometimes take more Vicodin then prescribed which may lead to illegal purchase of the narcotic. To prevent this, a new classification as Schedule II requires prescription renewal on each refill. Face-to-face visits may help doctors receive more information on addiction occurrence and liability issues. With prescription painkiller abuse on the rise, it is important to review all avenues when considering how best to control the distribution of Vicodin so as to prevent unnecessary deaths or harm to people who become addicted through abuse of this powerful medication.

Hired Power is here to help. We provide resources and tools to guide you through recovery. Call today for more information on how we can help you fight addiction to prescription painkillers and Vicodin. 800-910-9299.