Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Drug Abuse, Prescription Narcotics
Philip R. Kavanaugh
Prescription narcotics include a number of opiates, including morphine, codeine, hydrocodone (Vicodin), and oxycodone (OxyContin). OxyContin and Vicodin—Schedule II and III painkillers, respectively—represent the most widely abused prescription narcotics in the United States. Both have significant abuse potential. Recreational users take them orally in pill form, crushed and snorted, or dissolved in water and injected. Effects of Vicodin include feelings of well-being by reducing tension, anxiety, and aggression (“high”). Effects of OxyContin are stronger than those of Vicodin and similar to the effects of heroin. Hydrocodone and oxycodone were first manufactured and marketed in the United States in the 1920s, as an answer to the number ...