What Is the Law Regarding the Use of Hydrocodone and Why?

What Is the Law Regarding the Use of Hydrocodone and Why?

Hydrocodone is a Schedule 3 prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is considered a controlled substance by the US government and most law enforcement agencies around the world. Unlawful use or distribution of hydrocodone or other narcotic drugs can lead to heavy fines or prison time. Despite the concerted efforts of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), illicit use of hydrocodone continues to increase year after year.

What Is Hydrocodone?

Hydrocodone is a synthetic opiate, or “opioid” that is chemically related to more infamous drugs such as morphine or heroin. It blocks pain by binding to specialized chemical receptors that the central nervous system uses to send and receive pain signals throughout the body. When a molecule of hydrocodone is bonded to one of these neurological receptors, the receptor is prevented from relaying signals related to physical or emotional pain. The user then experiences physical and psychological relief and euphoria.

As with other opioids, such as oxycodone, Vicadin, and Percocet, hydrocodone is highly addictive. Because of its euphoric effects many users become hooked on it very quickly. Millions of people have become addicted to this drug without ever doing anything riskier than filling a legitimate prescription from their doctor.

What Are the Laws Regarding Hydrocodone?

As a Schedule 3 drug, the federal government regulates hydrocodone in the following ways:

  • It can only be prescribed by licensed physicians
  • Diversion of medical supplies for recreational use is a federal crime
  • It is illegal to possess a supply of hydrocodone that you do not have a legitimate prescription for
  • Hydrocodone addiction is treated as a physiological and psychological addiction and addicts are entitled to treatment when needed

Hydrocodone and other opioids have been distributed by illicit dealers for years, and at one point were considered to be an affordable alternative to heroin. Recent improvements in interdiction and enforcement have greatly reduced the supply of prescription painkillers on the street, even as demand for those drugs has increased exponentially. Prices have skyrocketed to the point that in some places it is now cheaper to purchase heroin than prescription opiates.

Am I at Risk for Hydrocodone Addiction?

Hydrocodone can usually be used for the short-term relief of pain without the user becoming addicted, but the following people should be especially careful when considering the use of this powerful drug:

  • Anyone with a personal history of substance abuse or addiction
  • Anyone with a family history of addiction
  • Individuals wrestling with psychological or emotional disorders (depression, PTSD, etc.)

While it is unlikely that a person who follows his prescription diligently, and who has no family or personal history of drug or alcohol use, will become hooked on hydrocodone, it is possible. Some people are born with a biological predisposition to addiction.

24 Hour Hydrocodone Helpline

If you are concerned about your own hydrocodone use, or you are worried for a friend or family member, our toll-free hydrocodone helpline is for you. Call any time of day or night for immediate, personalized, caring advice and access to the finest hydrocodone rehab programs. Hydrocodone abuse can have devastating effects, but we can help you get clean before it ruins your life. Don’t delay. Call now.