Vicodin Overdose Facts

los angeles drug rehabVicodin is a powerful opiate drug. If you believe you or a loved one has overdosed, contact emergency medical help. If you or a loved one is using Vicodin, learn the facts about overdose. Understand the risks involved. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[1] (CDC) shares, “The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin), and hydrocodone (such as Vicodin).” Overdose can and does happen. It can have serious consequences. Even if overdose doesn’t occur, risk factors such as abuse and addiction can be just as harmful. Take care of your health. Get help and support for use, abuse and addiction.

What Is Vicodin?

Vicodin contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Both of these ingredients are potentially harmful. Acetaminophen reduces fever and some pain symptoms. It also damages the liver and can lead to liver failure or death. Hydrocodone is an opioid. It changes how you perceive pain. It also slows the central nervous system. The central nervous system controls blood pressure, heart rate and more. Using too much Vicodin can result in slow, shallow or no breathing. It can cause vomiting, seizures or coma.

Who Overdoses on Vicodin?

Anyone who uses Vicodin can overdose on Vicodin. He or she may be using the drug recreationally. He or she is just as likely to be taking the drug with a prescription. Any time a person abuses Vicodin, he or she is at risk. Abuse can be as simple as taking a pill a little sooner than prescribed. It can involve taking a little more than recommended when pain feels overwhelming. Abuse involves taking the drug to feel good with friends. It involves taking the drug at home to manage stress, sadness or other unwanted emotions. Abuse is as simple as having a drink with friends while also using an opiate like Vicodin. None of these are malicious actions. None of them intend to put individuals, friends and family at risk. However any drug abuse is a first step toward addiction. Any drug abuse makes overdose possible.

If you struggle with Vicodin abuse or addiction, you aren’t alone. If you have experienced an overdose or other negative health effects, you shouldn’t face stigma or misunderstanding. The CDC explains, “In 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids. As many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer related pain in primary care settings struggles with addiction.” Substance abuse, addiction and overdose can happen to anyone. This also means anyone can reduce their risk and find health and healing. You can learn to manage pain, mental health and more without Vicodin. Understand Vicodin overdose and your personal risk factors. Ask for help to stay safe and move forward in life.

How Does Vicodin Overdose Happen?

Vicodin overdose is almost always accidental. Individuals may not realize how dangerous this drug is. They may take other over-the-counter medications that contain acetaminophen. The Mayo Clinic[2] explains, “Many combination medicines contain acetaminophen…Adding these medicines to the medicine you already take may cause you to get more than a safe amount of acetaminophen.” The same may happen with Vicodin. Individuals may take other prescription medications containing opiates without considering or being aware of the risks. Combining opiates like Vicodin with other central nervous system depressants is also dangerous. However individuals may not pause to consider the possibility of overdose before having a few drinks with friends or taking an anti-anxiety medication while also on Vicodin.

How Do I Prevent Vicodin Overdose?

Preventing overdose begins with knowing the facts about overdose. Don’t let stigma or misunderstanding put you or a loved one at risk. Anyone can struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Reach out to a loved one engaged in risky drug use. Be aware of what and how much you are using. Be aware of why you are using. Opioids like Vicodin may seem essential for pain management, but consider alternatives. The New York Times[3] explains there is, “little good evidence to support the safety or efficacy of long-term opioid therapy for nonmalignant pain…Worse, there is a well-known syndrome of opioid-induced hyperalgesia in which opioids, paradoxically, can actually increase a person’s sensitivity to painful stimuli.” If you are taking Vicodin and still experiencing pain, talk to a medical professional. Don’t take more of the drug or take additional drugs without approval and supervision. Opioid drugs convince your brain and body they are necessary. Substance abuse and addiction treatment teaches that this is not the case. There are alternative ways to manage pain and stress. You can feel good without Vicodin. You will feel better without addiction and the risk of overdose. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Call The Canyon and learn more about protecting yourself and your loved ones.

[1] “Prescription Opioid Overdose Data.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 16 Dec 2016. Web. 31 Jan 2017.

[2] “Acetaminophen (Oral Route, Rectal Route).” Mayo Clinic. 1 Oct 2015. Web. 31 Jan 2017.

[3] “How Doctors Helped Drive the Addiction Crisis.” The New York Times. 7 Nov 2015. Web. 1 Feb 2017.


Dear Friends,

On November 10, 2018, the Woolsey Fire destroyed The Canyon at Peace Park’s treatment facility. At this time, The Canyon at Peace Park is not accepting patients for any services. We arranged for the safe and seamless discharge or transition of all patients when we were forced to evacuate due to the fire.

For over 12 years, The Canyon at Peace Park has been privileged to provide integrated treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders to patients across the nation. Our main focus has always been on our patients and their success. We have served hundreds of patients and their families, providing exclusive treatment and services for a wide range of behavioral health and addiction issues.

Our trained, compassionate staff has been committed to delivering quality patient care with dignity and respect, with the goal of helping our patients return to their communities as healthier individuals. We are extremely proud of the sacrifices of those who worked every day, often under challenging circumstances, to positively impact our patients’ lives.

We thank the physicians and staff for their expertise and dedication in providing high quality, compassionate treatment and care to the patients we have served.

We look forward to carrying on The Canyon at Peace Park’s legacy through our outpatient locations in Santa Monica and Encino. Foundations Recovery Network also has other residential and outpatient facilities around the country offering the same high quality of service you’ve come to expect from us.

If you need help finding treatment, please visit or call for more information.

To request medical records please contact UHS-NRO Records Department. Fax a copy of the completed/signed ROI form to FAX# (615)-997-1200 or it can be emailed to [email protected] If you need additional guidance on medical records, please call (615) 312-5834


The Canyon at Peace Park Leadership Team