The first documented dependency and addiction case for hydrocodone was published in 1961. Hydrocodone is the opiod substance of several hundred marketed products that have been combined with other ingredients, most commonly, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Brand names differ according to manufacturer and a combination of compounds. The street names differ accordingly and in relation to those brand names. According to the DEA, in 2009, hydrocodone was the second most frequent opioid drug encountered for evidence purposes and submitted to local, state, and federal forensics labs. With more than 139 million prescriptions issued in that year, the street names for hydrocodone products remain easily recognizable by their brand names. “Hydros” and “Dones” are recognized as Hydrocodone pills. “Vikes”, “Vics”, and “Vikos” may be recognized as Vicodin pills and “Tabs” may be recognized as Lortab pills. A myriad of other street names may include “Itchies”, “Norcos”, “Watson-387s”, and “Cha Cha’s”.
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Sometimes the pills are referred to simply by the milligrams of hydrocodone such as “5s”, “7.5s” or “10s”. Hydrocodone is available in 2.5 to 10 milligram doses and the combinations with acetaminophen or ibuprofen vary also. The most common combination is with acetaminophen referred to as APAP. The milligram dosage for APAP is often 325, 500, or 750. The concept of the combination refers to hydrocodone mg. per/ APAP mg. and is often misconceived on the street and the pills are simply referred to as “325s”, “500s” or “750s”. Herein, is a grave danger because the overdose of acetaminophen can be more toxic to the liver and kidneys than the opioid drug, itself. Taking more than 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen within 24 hours can be dangerous for a normal individual and this dosage would easily be reached by taking around 5 pills with an APAP of 750 mg. Addiction tolerance varies and is increased by usage and duration. Addicts typically disregard this APAP milligram dose to acquire the necessary hydrocodone milligrams they feel are necessary to achieve the expected “high”. High tolerance can develop quickly. A hydrocodone “high” might begin around 15 milligrams, may be repeated every 4-6 hours, and the APAP dosage dangerously increases accordingly.
The availability of this product on the street is phenomenal and many addictions begin by using these pills. The low cost of the pills are also alluring to younger people who may not have access to the higher valued pills or other opiate substances such as heroin. Illicit sales of pills containing hydrocodone average about 50 cents or more per milligram and a 5 milligram pill may sell for $2 – $3. The price ranges can skyrocket or even be less at times, depending on the dealer’s will and perceived supply and demand.
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