Vicodin and Percocet are both brand names for prescription painkillers. Both drugs contain combinations of opioid ingredients and acetaminophen. Both are habit-forming narcotics. In fact, these drugs are more appropriate for the relief of short-term pain. Taking either drug long-term can lead to a substance use disorder.
If you or a loved one has developed a dependency to Vicodin or Percocet, Crestview Recovery, a Vicodin Addiction Treatment in Portland can help.
In the consideration of Vicodin vs Percocet, here’s what you need to know…
The Ingredients in Vicodin
Vicodin contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. It is the hydrocodone that contains opium. This drug is a respiratory depressant that slows heart rate and can become fatal if taken other than prescribed. It’s recommended for severe pain, but should never be taken long term, unless indicated by your prescriber. You should also tell your doctor whether you have risk factors in your background before taking hydrocodone. Risk factors make you more susceptible to dependency on the drug. They include:
- Coming from a household where drug use was normal
- Living in a neighborhood where drug use is prevalent
- Suffering from depression or another mental illness
- Misusing alcohol or being around people who do
The second ingredient in Vicodin is acetaminophen. It’s an analgesic that relieves pain and reduces fever. Taken alone, it is not habit-forming. Acetaminophen, alone, is readily available without a prescription and is a common household drug in many homes.
Vicodin is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 2.1 million people in the U.S. abused Vicodin in 2012 alone.
The Ingredients in Percocet
Percocet combines acetaminophen with oxycodone, another opioid drug. Doctors typically prescribe Percocet for the relief of moderate to moderately severe pain when other non-narcotic medications have failed. This drug is a highly habit-forming narcotic that must be taken only as directed and only for short periods of time, unless otherwise indicated by your physician.
Oxycodone works by changing the way your brain reacts to pain. If taken consistently over time, it can become less effective. People who abuse oxycodone, or drugs that contain oxycodone, often do so for this reason.
Here are some important statistics to keep in mind:
- Percocet is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the United States
- Each year, more than one million people abuse Percocet
Vicodin vs Percocet: Which Is Better?
From a physician’s standpoint, neither drug is a good choice. Both have a high risk of dependency. Percocet, however, seems to be the worse option. Oxycodone, the opioid element in Percocet, is slightly more addictive than hydrocodone. This makes Vicodin the safer choice of drug.
Opioid drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet should be last-resort options. Non-narcotic drugs should always be the first choice. If they prove ineffective, only then should these drugs become an option. So, when it comes to Vicodin vs Percocet, there really is no good option. Between the two, however, Vicodin is better.
Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Drugs
If you know someone who’s abusing Percocet or Vicodin, or if you’re having problems with these or other opioid pain relievers, Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon can help. We offer a full range of drug and alcohol treatment programs, including those for opioid dependencies, such as:
- Partial hospitalization program: This program provides intensive treatment during the day, but allows you to return home at night.
- Intensive outpatient treatment: This program provides less intensive treatment than a partial hospitalization program, but more than standard outpatient care.
- Transitional care program: This is designed to help you transition from inpatient to outpatient care.
- Extended care program: Provides long-term care for those who need it.
Treatment for opioid-use disorder is typically long-term and may or may not involve the use of replacement drugs. This treatment is most effective when it weans the client off the drug gradually. Stopping the use of opioids all at once is never a good idea.
Symptoms of Dependency on Vicodin or Percocet
Opioid dependency includes symptoms such as sleep disruption, including nodding off at inappropriate times, increase in anxiety, euphoric mood, poor focus and concentration, and slowed respiration.
In fact, Percocet and Vicodin are two of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the United States. Both drugs are opioid painkillers that can produce a sense of euphoria in addition to pain relief. This combination of effects makes them highly addictive, and people who abuse these drugs often find themselves quickly developing a dependence.
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or in a family member, it’s time to seek help. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, Crestview Recovery has the resources you need to feel better. Call us today at 866.262.0531 for a consultation.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.