Government Aims to Crack Down on Vicodin Use

Created: 01/24/2013 11:28 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen

The U.S. population consumes 99 percent of the world's Hydrocodone, the opiate that's in Vicodin. Some live with pain, others are addicted.

Addiction and pharmacy robberies are a couple reasons why the government is trying to crack down on Vicodin use.

Tthe Drug Enforcement Administration wants Vicodin to be classified as a dangerous drug and the DEA hopes the FDA will agree. It's part of a national effort to prevent drug abuse, pharmacy robberies and deaths.

In 2011, 131 million prescriptions were written for Vicodin. It's a powerful painkiller that's a mix of acetaminophen and hydrocodone.

More than 3,000 pharmacy robberies have happened in just a few years, and the American Academy of Pain Medicine says our nation is in crisis. It's estimated that millions of people are addicted to Vicodin-type drugs.

This is going to have a major impact on people living with pain. It is expected costs will go up and patients would have to make more visits to the doctor for refills.

Doctors and pharmacies have concerns about more paperwork and drug makers have concerns about profits.