Hydrocodone in Hollywood

Hydrocodone in Hollywood

Hydrocodone addiction has been linked to Eminem (who reportedly bore a Vicodin tattoo), Brett Favre, Matthew Perry and other celebrities. When at the 2001 Golden Globes, David Spade joked of finding some in his gift basket. Vicodin seemed to have entered the cultural vernacular in the US as a by-word for all abused prescription pain medication.

Celebrity Death from Vicodin

The actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose of six different drugs (a mix of painkillers and sedatives) leading doctors to warn of the dangers of mixing prescription drugs. The 28-year-old film star died “of acute intoxication” from the combination of two strong painkillers, two anti-anxiety medicines and two sleeping aids, which means that his death was sudden. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York, “All the drugs that were found in Heath’s system are sedatives, and when taken together, they slow down your respiratory system and eventually stop your breathing.”
In layman’s terms, the drugs that were found in Heath’s system are the following:

  • Oxycodone: Percocet
  • Hydrocodone: Codeine
  • Diazepam: Valium (anti-anxiety)
  • Temazepam: Restoral (a sleeping aid)
  • Alprazolam: Xanax (anti-anxiety)
  • Doxylamine: an over the counter antihistamine

So why did Heath die? According to medical professionals, he did not die of chronic drug abuse. He was clearly being treated for something and the way that he used the prescription drugs collided in a tragic result.

Trademark, Vicodin, in Popular Culture

Hydrocodone is possibly known best by the trademark name Vicodin. Like Quaalude and Valium in the 1970s, Vicodin has become not just a drug but a symbol, and its presence in a lyric or a screenplay can be seen as a comment on the obsessions of the early twenty-first century. Some of the places where the brand name has appeared in popular culture include:

  • In the television series House, Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie) is a brilliant but difficult doctor who takes massive amounts of Vicodin to manage chronic pain.
  • In the short-lived, controversial television series The Book of Daniel, Aidan Quinn plays an Episcopal priest who is hooked on Vicodin.
  • The song “Company” by Third Eye Blind features the lyric “Mix it up with Vicodin, Cause anything’s better than this.”
  • In the Jack’s Mannequin song, “Last Straw,” singer Andrew McMahon laments “I stayed home, took a Vicodin.”
  • The metal-core band Atreyu has a song called “Five Vicodin Chased with a Shot of Clarity.”
  • Terra Naomi, the singer-songwriter, recorded a “Vicodin Song” which includes the lyric “I’ve got Vicodin, do you want to come over?”
  • Several songs by Eminem mention Vicodin.
  • In the song “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” by Queens of the Stone Age, the phrase “Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol. Cocaine…” is repeated over the song.
  • The song “Diary of a San Fernando Sexx Star” by Butch Walker has the lyric “So you popped a Vicodin and ran away from everyone, and everything you thought you knew.”
  • Bill Engvall has a joke called “Vicodinland” which is an amusing account of his time on Vicodin after his hernia.
  • In the television series Six Feet Under, Ruth’s sister, Sarah, experiences withdrawal symptoms while trying to break her Vicodin addiction.
  • During Season 2 of the television series Rescue Me, Franco gets hooked on Vicodin.
  • ECW wrestlers Rob Van Dam and Sabu were both arrested for possession of the drug without a prescription.
  • In Chuck Palanuik’s “Invisible Monsters,” Vicodin is mentioned throughout the novel with multiple characters addicted to the drug.
  • Actor Matthew Perry (of Friends fame) voluntarily checked himself into a drug rehabilitation facility after he admitted to the press that he had been addicted to Vicodin for several years.
  • Comedian George Carlin checked himself into a rehabilitation facility in 2004 after he became addicted to Vicodin.
  • Several Alkaline Trio songs make reference to Vicodin.

Hydrocodone Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with a hydrocodone addiction, we can help. Please call our toll free number at 855-396-2977. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions on hydrocodone treatment and addiction.