Vicodin is the brand name of a drug that is classed as “Schedule II” by the United States. This means that while the substance is considered legal, it is a controlled substance, meaning it can only be used under certain circumstances, usually of a medical nature. A schedule II drug means that while the medical profession recognizes the usefulness of the drug, it also acknowledges a high potential for developing a physical addiction and that addiction phase occurs rapidly without properly controlled dosage.
It’s actually composed of two painkilling components. The first is hydrocodone, which is an opioid, meaning that is a lab-created chemical that replicates the powerful painkilling properties that naturally occur in the opium plant, from which opiates are naturally derived. The second component is acetaminophen, a low-grade painkiller that can be bought without a doctor’s prescription and is found in the painkiller Tylenol. The acetaminophen acts as both a painkiller in its own right, and a “booster” for the effects of the hydrocodone, which is why the risk of addiction is high and often requires professional addiction help.