Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Vicodin Sucks

Sci-Tech Today reports the latest trend in drug use:

One in five teenagers has popped Vicodin, OxyContin or some other prescription painkiller to get high, a shocking new study has revealed.
And, just as disturbing, today's teens can get those drugs almost effortlessly simply by raiding their parents' medicine cabinets, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

I heard this on the radio a few days ago, and my initial reaction went something like this:

VICODIN? Are they freakin' nuts? What kind of idiot seeks the side effects of Vicodin ON PURPOSE?

I was prescribed Vicodin last year when I got some dental bone grafts. The label says "May cause dizziness." Yeah, and molten lead may be hot. "Dizziness" is putting it mildly. After taking the stuff I couldn't so much as sit down in a chair and and surf the web. Fortunately I didn't need to take it long.

I can understand intellectually why someone with a propensity for recreational drug use might try Vicodin without any prior knowledge of its side effects. I could half-understand why somebody might take it as an extreme sleep aid, although Melatonin is cheaper, and does a better job of actually making you sleepy. But why in the name of Timothy Leary would someone take the stuff (recreationally) a second time? What is so bleeding enjoyable about acute drug-induced vertigo?

It is possible that I am more susceptible to the ill effects of Vicodin than the average person, that a lot of people are capable of taking the stuff and having enough balance to sit comfortably in a chair. It is also possible that some people are whacked enough to actually find pleasure in losing their equilibrium to such a degree. It's a complete mystery to me.

Astute readers have already figured out that I've never been drunk a day in my life, since I would have made the alcohol-Vicodin comparison by now if I had. (Alcohol isn't all that tasty, anyway, and it's too expensive.) The only comparison I can make from personal experience is going too long without eating. I've done that a couple of times when my sleep schedule was disrupted by a daytime chore (I normally work nights) and I didn't readjust my eating schedule to match. The Vicodin was worse.

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