Pill bottles of Vicodin and Percocet

The Opioid Epidemic claimed the lives of over 48,000 souls in America in the year 2017 alone. While the attention remains on heroin and fentanyl, the reality is over 17,000 of these deaths involved prescription drug overdoses. (1)

Here we take a look at the two most commonly prescribed painkillers in the United States: Vicodin and Percocet. (2) While both these drugs have important medical uses, they unfortunately also provide the gateway into opioid addiction for countless addicts.

What is Vicodin?

Vicodin is an opioid medication that is a combination drug containing both the opioid A series of drugs with a doctor in a blue gownhydrocodone and acetaminophen. Vicodin is a powerful painkiller and cough suppressant that is currently the most prescribed opioid in the United States. Vicodin carries with it a high risk for both physical and mental addiction that is associated with any powerful opioid. (3)

What is Percocet?

Like Vicodin, Percocet is an opioid medication that contains a combination of an opioid and acetaminophen. Percocet contains the opioid oxycodone, which is a powerful pain reliever. Much like Vicodin, Percocet contains a high risk for both physical and mental addiction. (4)

What are the effects of Percocet and Vicodin?

Both Percocet and Vicodin cause similar effects to each other that mirror that of all opioids. Signs and symptoms of Percocet and/or Vicodin abuse include the following (3) (4):

  • Euphoria
  • Sense of well-being
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • Constipation
  • Pinned pupils

Withdrawal symptoms of Vicodin and Percocet

Long-term Vicodin/Percocet use leads to a physical and physiological dependence on the drug, and ultimately addiction. Once an individual has become addicted to opioids, a severe withdrawal syndrome will occur if he or she suddenly stops taking the medication. Opioid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Teary eyes and frequent yawning
  • Agitation
  • Cold and hot flashes (5)

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
  2. https://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/top-10-painkillers-in-us
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a614045.html
  4. https://www.rxlist.com/percocet-drug.htm
  5. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm