**Flashback** America: A Pill Popping Nation By Alyssa Peterkin
This headline caught my attention as I watched tonight’s news. I knew drug use and abuse was a problem but I did not realize its extent. For a country that only comprises about 4.6 percent of the world population, the United States consumes about 80 percent of its opioids and 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone—Vicodin. An opioid is a chemical that binds to opioid receptors causing decreased perception of pain, increased pain tolerance and decreased reaction to pain. A hydrocodone is characterized as a semi-synthetic opioid.
Vicodin is a huge concern because it is strong and addictive. Despite the continual increase in drug addiction, doctors continue to prescribe Vicodin. Why? It is not as tightly regulated as other narcotics. Vicodin, a class 3 drug, is also an excellent pain reliever from those suffering from mild to severe pain. I think this drug should be regulated much more tightly because its high addictive qualities. Oxycotin another pain reliever , a class 2 drug, but can be just as or more addictive than Vicodin. (Continue story)