Hydrocodone, a narcotic painkiller that is an ingredient in Vicodin, has been responsible for more deaths since 2006 than any other prescription medication. In an effort to stem the growing tide of Vicodin-related deaths, a federal panel has recommended that the FDA reclassify the drug as a Schedule II narcotic. This would place it in the same category as prescription drugs like OxyContin and fentanyl and illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. All of these drugs that have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Authorities in Southern California have arrested 15 people who are accused of being part of a large-scale smuggling ring that operated with a twist – they sent narcotic prescription drugs across the border from California to Mexico. The drugs were then sold over the counter in Mexican pharmacies to American drug abusers who crossed the border in search of illegal prescription painkillers. The smuggling ring, which operated for several years, is reported to have netted at least $400,000 in the past six months.