EXTRATV : “Addicted to Vicodin”
Vicodin is the trendy pain pill that is getting Hollywood high. People are popping the drug at parties like candy. David Spade joked about the painkiller at the recent star- studded Golden Globe Awards. Controversial rapper Eminem includes lyrics about Vicodin in his music and even tattoos it on his arm. Courtney Love, quarterback Brett Favre and Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, have come forward to address their addictions. And “Friend” Matthew Perry beat Vicodin three years ago but checked back into rehab last month for unknown reasons.
And Vicodin consumption is not just occurring in Hollywood.
Recovering Vicodin addict ‘Terry” says, “I was taking like 16 a day.”
“Terry” is still struggling, four weeks into her recovery. She initially started taking the drug for pain after having major abdominal surgery. According to Dr. Cliff Bernstein, her case is mild. “I have people coming in on 100 Vicodin a day.”
Dr. Bernstein has been treating drug addicts at the Waismann Institute in Beverly Hills, California for several years and he says that just last year nearly all his patients addicted to heroin. Currently, 60% of them are addicted to Vicodin and you’d never know it.
Dr. Bernstein says, “They can act, they can sing, they can be the CEO of a major corporation.”
Not everyone who takes Vicodin gets addicted, but it’s in the same family of drugs as heroin. People can build up a tolerance to it, needing more to get the same high.
People can function normally on Vicodin and while you can’t snort coke or inject heroin in public, there’s no stigma attached to popping a pain pill. Dr. Bernstein says that the most dangerous thing about this particular addiction is that you don’t need a drug dealer to get it.
Dr. Bernstein says, “Vicodin is given out very freely. If doctors don’t get you Vicodin, you can get it on the street, you can go to the emergency room, you can go to Mexico and you can buy it off the Internet now.”
“Terry” says, “I didn’t go out looking for it or go to 10 different doctors trying to get different drugs. It just happened.”
It can happen to anyone, whether you’re a high profile celebrity or just a working class citizen. Vicodin is FDA approved and wouldn’t be prescribed without proven medical benefits. Many people use it successfully for pain relief. For those people, it’s only dangerous when they abuse it.