From both a medical and legal perspective, Vicodin is a narcotic. Prior to late 2014, Vicodin was listed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule III narcotic. It was reclassified under the more restrictive Schedule II guidelines after prescription drug abuse and addiction began to skyrocket in the United State.
Is Vicodin a Narcotic?
Physicians primarily prescribe medical narcotics, such as Vicodin, to treat pain. Vicodin is a blend of two active ingredients. The first ingredient is the synthetic opiate, hydrocodone bitartrate. The second is the non-opiate painkiller, acetaminophen, which is the primary ingredient in many over the counter painkillers.
Is Vicodin a narcotic is an easy question to answer. It’s more important to understand the types of narcotic and their effects.
A standard Vicodin dose includes less than 15 mg of this opiate product. This was originally placed it under Schedule III legal narcotic restrictions. The DEA reassessed this classification and moved Vicodin up to Schedule II to reflect the agency’s observation that this drug has a higher potential for abuse.
Hydrocodone itself is a Schedule II narcotic. Elevating Vicodin to the same Schedule II places it on par with hydrocodone products, such as Oxycontin.
The Schedule II classification will make it more difficult for patients to get larger or regular amounts of Vicodin. Physicians are now able to authorize only a 30-day supply of Vicodin with no refills, whereas previously they could authorize up to 180-day supplies. Patients will need to see their physicians to get an additional 30-day supply. Rescheduling Vicodin as a Class II narcotic also imposes a heightened record-keeping burden on pharmacies and drug manufacturers.
Vicodin Abuse and Addiction
It is beyond question that Vicodin has a high potential for abuse and addiction. The DEA’s decision to classify Vicodin as a Schedule II narcotic came after alarming reports. These reports showed that patients often took larger and more frequent doses of Vicodin than prescribed, suggesting a pattern of addiction.
Some patients who started on Vicodin graduated to Oxycontin and other opiate substances. This happened because users often could no longer feel the painkilling effects of Vicodin. At this point, they have a Vicodin addiction that’s developing into something greater.
Individuals who have become addicted to Vicodin can experience withdrawal symptoms that are similar to withdrawal from other opiates, including nausea, fever, tremors, and at the extreme, violent seizures. Reclassifying Vicodin as a Schedule II narcotic will put a physician between the patient and the drug to better prevent these addiction problems.
Individuals who believe that they have become addicted to Vicodin should contact their physicians without delay. If you have been using Vicodin for more than thirty consecutive days, you may be on a path to addiction. Stopping Vicodin use abruptly or attempting to control Vicodin withdrawal without medical supervision can be dangerous. This is true to both the patient and his caregivers who are trying to provide assistance.
Vicodin Addiction Treatment
When someone asks you “is Vicodin a narcotic?” you’l have the answer. However, if someone talks to you about Vicodin addiction, it’s important that you direct them to a qualified addiction treatment center. The DEA and the medical industry classify Vicodin as a narcotic for very good reasons. Vicodin is a lower-concentrate opiate drug and although it has valid medical uses, like all opiate products, it has a high potential for abuse.
The Last Resort Recovery is an addiction treatment facility that offers a full continuum of addiction care, such as evidence based treatment, family programs, and individualized treatment plans. If you have any questions or concerns over your use of Vicodin, please contact the counselors and therapists at the Last Resort Recovery Center (near Austin, Texas) at 877-287-0785 for answers to your questions.