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High on Vicodin: Can Vicodin Be Used Recreationally?

getting high on vicodin

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Vicodin is a brand of painkillers containing a mixture of hydrocodone and acetaminophen or APAP. It is a prescription drug, and, as a potent opioid medication, it should be used with caution.
If not used carefully, people can experience a range of unwanted sensations. The question is: can one get high off Vicodin?

Table of Contents

Vicodin High Overview

A Vicodin high can trigger feelings of well-being, relaxation, and sensations of euphoria. The main active ingredient in Vicodin, hydrocodone, affects opioid receptors in the brain. In short, that dampens the person’s pain perception. If the dose is high enough, hydrocodone can go as far as to act on pleasure centers in the brain.

Recreational use of the drug equals abuse and is cosidered illegal. No one should try to get high on Vicodin.

Does Vicodin High Work On Everyone?

Not everyone gets high on Vicodin. The patients will find that some Vicodin consumers claim that it is impossible to get high on Vicodin. Often people who use it as a pain reliever will develop a tolerance. To attain a high, they would have to ingest dangerously high amounts. Before prescribing Vicodin as medication, the physician usually explains what is at stake.
Patients are generally interested in their own well-being and are aware of physical dangers that can come with overdosing on medications. So although that happens to severe addicts, most of the patients do not take the risk of taking dangerously large doses. After all, they take these drugs to relieve pain, not to add to it.

Are there Risks of Getting High From a Prescribed Dosage?

It is very unlikely that someone will accidently get high on Vicodin while respecting the doctor’s prescription.
The decision of the exact dosage is the physician’s responsibility. Based on the pain level and the history of painkiller use, the type and dose of pain reliever will differ. Usually, Vicodin is not intended for prolonged use, precisely because it has potential for dependence and even addiction.
There are three main Vicodin formulations, with the following usage guidelines:

  • Regular Vicodin pills (with 5 mg hydrocodone and 750 mg of acetaminophen): The typical dose for adults is one or two tablets every four to six hours. The daily dose should not exceed eight pills.
  • Vicodin ES pills (containing 7.5 mg of hydrocodone and 750 mg of acetaminophen) or Vicodin HP (with 10 mg of hydrocodone and 750 mg of acetaminophen): An average dosage for an adult is to take pills every four to six hours, but not more than five pills per day.
  • Liquid Vicodin doses including 7.5 mg hydrocodone and 325 mg acetaminophen: The adult safety limits dictate ingesting 15 mL every four to six hours, without exceeding six tablespoon intakes per day.

For children or adult weighing less than 100 lbs, each serving should be adjusted to the patient’s weight: 10 mL for a weight of 70-100 pounds, 7.5 mL for a weight between 51-69 lbs and 3.75-5 mL for children up to six years.
People that observe these guidelines should neither expect to suffer from unpleasant side effects, nor to get high. The most likely scenario would be that their bodies may increase their tolerance to the drug over time. In that case, people won’t benefit from the pain-relieving effects of Vicodin. They would have to increase the dose.

When it comes to that point, doctors usually change the prescription to a different drug. That is to avoid the patient to become dependent on Vicodin and start risking physical harm.

If one becomes tolerant to the drug, they might feel the need to increase the amount of Vicodin to obtain the same goals as previously. The perception of pleasurable sensations dampens too, and that includes pain relief and any relaxing feeling. The most likely result of increasing doses, in that case, would be gradual physical damage and worsened withdrawal symptoms.

View Sources
  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. What types of prescription medications are commonly abused?
  2. Bardhi F., Sifaneck S. J., Johnson B. D., Dunlap E. Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches: Case Studies of Prescription Pill Use and Misuse among Marijuana/Blunt Smoking Middle Class Young Women. Contemporary Drug Problems. 2007; 34(1): 53–101.
Nena Messina

About Author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She devoted her life to the study of the connection between crime, mental health, and substance abuse. Apart from her work as management at addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.


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