How Serious Is the Hydrocodone Abuse Problem in the United States?

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The abuse of hydrocodone and hydrocodone combination products is a serious problem in the United States today. If you or someone you know is suffering from a opioid use disorder, call 800-584-3274 now for help finding safe, reliable rehab centers that will take your needs into account.

Hydrocodone Misuse and Diversion

Hydrocodone misuse and diversion is a severe issue in the United States, often considered to be on par with the issue of methadone abuse and heroin abuse, which has especially become more severe in recent years. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, just a few years ago, hydrocodone was “the most frequently prescribed opioid in the United States” and was associated with more abuse and diversion than any other opioid, licit or illicit. In addition:

Hydrocodone Abuse

Hydrocodone abuse is a common practice in the United States.

  • In 2013, there were 34,961 reports of the drug in the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS) and in the System to Retrieve Information from Drug Evidence (STRIDE) (DEA). This was a decrease from 2012, in which there were 41,401 reports, but it continues to stay high.
  • Hydrocodone and acetaminophen is the most commonly encountered form of a hydrocodone drug on the black market, even more so than the opioid alone.
  • In 2011, an estimated 82,480 visits to the emergency department were associated with the nonmedical use of hydrocodone. This is a 107 percent increase from the total number of ED visits for the same reason in 2004, which was only 39,846.

What Are We Doing to Fight the Hydrocodone Abuse Epidemic?

The government is taking certain measures to fight the issue of hydrocodone abuse. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, combination medications containing the drug are now all listed as Schedule II substances, whereas, before 2014, these combination drugs were only Schedule III. This has minimized the issue of hydrocodone abuse somewhat. In addition, there has been a push for more understanding and awareness about the effects the drug can cause and about protecting yourself and your family against opioid misuse.

While certain changes have been made in recent years to minimize the issue of hydrocodone abuse, it is still, unfortunately, going strong. And though some individuals have stopped seeking out this particular drug because of the new rules about its use, many individuals have turned to heroin as a substitute, causing concern that the new scheduling rules may have helped to create the more recent heroin epidemic.

Treatment Options for Hydrocodone Addiction

Guarding Yourself and Your Loved Ones Against Hydrocodone Abuse

Hydrocodone is still a very dangerous, very available drug, even though changes have been made to try and lower the amount of abuse associated with it. The best way to guard yourself and your family against misusing an opioid drug is to never take medications that aren’t prescribed to you and to talk frankly with your children about the dangers of substance abuse.

Seek Help Now

Are you struggling with a hydrocodone addiction syndrome? You can find rehab programs that will help you put an end to your substance abuse and start your life anew; call 800-584-3274 today to speak with a treatment advisor.


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