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"Joan's Story - A Vicodin Addict's Timeline"

Updated on February 11, 2015


Vicodin is the correct, prescribed pain medication in many cases...It's the proper pain management med for post-surgery, some dental procedures and short term usage for many other painkilling needs.

Long term usage will most definitely render the user physically addicted; a situation easily remedied using various, proven methods.

Psychological addiction, as in Joan's story, is quite different. Many, many months of abstinence accompanied with intensive, continuing counseling is the only remedy. Psychological addiction is a much tougher enemy to defeat, and, in many cases, the addicted person relapses time and again.

The bottom line: When used properly, Vicodin is a perfectly acceptable and safe drug. However, when the user abuses the pills by taking more than prescribed over a long period of time, Vicodin becomes a chased dragon never to be slain.

Names and addresses are changed, but the following story is based on true events.

Thanksgiving, November 24, 2013

"How could I have been so stupid?"

Joan Simone, now unable to sleep more than 3 hours at night, has a lot of time to remember.

She peers up to a partially pocked, water-stained ceiling and recalls a romantic rendezvous with a gorgeous pill that began so innocently. She recalls the times she could easily and daily make torrid love with more than 25 of these beckoning beauties, more commonly known by the name of Vicodin, or 'vikes', as they are called on the street.

Joan remembers her favorite king-sized bed. She recalls the good life in a beautiful mansion on 4532 Park Street, Dallas, Texas, and as she views her current surroundings in a shabby, slightly unkempt room just big enough for two people, she cries tears of regret.

"O, my God, I wish I were home right now," she thought to herself.

Unfortunately, Joan Simone will not be home for a long, long time. ...

What Is Vicodin?

Vicodin is an opiate, pain-relieving prescription medication.

It's a pill containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) and the opiate, hydrocodone. Vicodin can be branded as Vicodin ES, and Norco: The brand names vary in relation to higher amounts of hydrocodone.

Other prescribed, Schedule III painkillers mimicking Vicodin include:

  • Lorcet
  • Lortab
  • Raw Opium
  • Hydromorphone
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Cocaine
  • Codeine
  • Methadone
  • Many, many other similar analgesic and opiates

Consumption of Vicodin, alongside similar Schedule III narcotics, make up the #1 preferred pain alleviation drugs in America. From 112 million doses prescribed in 2006, the amount in 2014 climbed to well over 131 million. These numbers come from a national study concluded by the consulting firm, IMS Health.

Health professionals argue the predominance of those prescriptions are excessive. The following provides a closer, more frightening perspective: The United States composes a little over 4% of the world's population -- but feeds on 99% of a global hydrocodone supply.

January 25, 2009

As a rising Texas sun begins baking ground, a Texas-tea-colored stretch limo pulls in, as it does most mornings, to Joan Simone's estate. . . A huge spread that would have made the Ewing clan of TV's "Dallas" green with envy.

The driver opens the elongated car door for Joan.

"Good morning, Joey," says a happy, confident Joan.

"Good morning, ma'am'," comes the rhetorical, morning greeting.

In April, 2008, Joan partnered with 3 other attorneys in Dallas, Texas' most prestigious law firm, enjoyed excellent health, and lived a dream-like home life shared with a perfectly matched partner.

A recent examination with her family doctor showed a minor high blood pressure issue, and the doctor prescribed medication to control the condition. Before this uneventful diagnosis, Joan rejected ideas of taking any sort of pill for the occasional headache, and she drank no alcohol.

At the law firm's social events, she refused any and all spirits.

"Doctor's orders," she would say.

How Do You Handle Moderately Severe Pain?

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May 15, 2011

Joan's law firm begins courting and defending surly, yet high-paying clients. Designated as a defender of clients perceived to be abhorrent in millions of Americans' eyes rips massive holes in Joan's sensitive conscience.

The turmoil soon makes itself physically manifest with sleep loss.

May 30, 2011

The insomnia affects Joan to the place her previously rapier-rap courtroom style begins to dull, as the occasional, infrequent headaches now become more intense.

At the end of the May 30 work day, Joan feels highly stressed, and mentally exhausted, as she lay tired eyes on her now waiting ride home.

The rush hour sound and light show on Dallas' Interstate 45 sets off a pounding sensation inside her head. As the miles pass, the headache slowly and steadily intensifies. Finally home, she bolts for bed.

She struggles to find her tender sleep quarters, but discovers no comfort there. The pain worsens to the extent any hint of light or sound made the head pound sensation unbearable.

Fearing stroke, Joan's husband calls 911.

At the hospital, Joan receives a heavy dose of Demerol (a narcotic in shot form to relieve the pain) with Phenergan (for nausea relief.)

The diagnosis is migraine headache, and following a series of tests, the E.R. doctor released her to go home. The physician writes a prescription for 20 Vicodin ES, and instructs Joan to take 1 pill before the headache has a chance to create levels that brought an ambulance to her home that night of May 30.

From Light Into Darkness

June 12, 2011

Joan experiences a typical day until around 1:30 P.M. when she realizes a migraine is coming on due to a skipped breakfast and lunch.

Remembering what the Emergency Room Doctor ordered, she reaches for the Vicodin bottle, pulls one pill and knocks it back in rapid fashion.

She orders lunch. Twenty minutes following the first bite of her now arrived noontime meal, the pill kicks in.

The headache disappears, and what can only be described as heaven on earth, Joan's body melts in a euphoric barrage of intense pleasure.

"My God, I've NEVER felt SO wonderful," she thinks to herself.

  • So relaxed, yet functioinal
  • So much delight lasting all day through bedtime
  • So "on top of the world"
  • So indefatigable

Yes, Joan could accomplish ANYTHING that day of June 12, 2011, and NO joy in her life could have pleasured more.

A Personal Problem; An American Epidemic

  • Vicodin is an opiate, pain-relieving prescription medication.
  • Vicodin is a tablet containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) and the painkiller, hydrocodone. This medication can be branded as Vicodin ES, and Norco: The brand names vary in relation to higher amounts of hydrocodone.
  • Consumption of Vicodin, alongside similar Schedule III narcotics, make up the #1 preferred pain alleviation drugs in America.
  • From 112 million doses prescribed in 2006, the amount in 2014 climbed to well over 131 million.
  • Health professionals stress the prevalence of those prescriptions are excessive.
  • The United States' population forms a little over 4% of the world's population -- but feeds on 99% of the world 's rapturous inducing narcotic, hydrocodone.

July 1, 2011

The first experience with Vicodin is so gratifying, Joan keeps that incredible day hidden in the recesses of her mind, but the 4th. of July weekend is coming and she has a lot of planning to do for the upcoming, law firm party.

Remembering the excitement and punch the Vicodin supplied, she pops another pill early that morning. The same euphoric rushes return and last until about 3 P.M. when she takes another for an energy boost. "What could be the harm", she thinks.

Joan is the life of that party.

  • Her body becomes totally pain-free
  • Previous inhibitions disappear
  • The tablet's rapturous passion is still acutely much intact


July 5 - October 18, 2011

By August 15, Joan's heavy schedule 'demands' Vicodin as a way to make it through a day. Six weeks ago, she could have easily gone days without the drug, but now the white cake begins to master Joan.

Her pill supply exhausted, she pays an appointed visit to her family doctor. She tells him about the ER headache episode, and the frequency and severity of her headaches. Because her family doctor rarely sees Joan, he develops a trust for her and writes a script for 90 Norco, a stronger brand of Vicodin.

By September 12, Joan takes 2-3 pills every day because "they get me through the day."

Joan was quickly becoming an addict, although she didn't know it.

She returns for a refill on September 16.

The doctor writes another script for 90 Norco, but he refers Joan to a neurologist. The neurologist meeting was set for a month later, October, 18.

As the calendar moves forward three more harrowing work weeks, a paltry 3 pills a day no longer works for Joan. She soon increases her intake.

Her stock soon exhausted, she decides to stop - cold turkey!

The withdrawal symptoms from Vicodin are comparable to someone coming off heroin.

She becomes so sick, within 24 hours she calls the firm for a sick day and she now KNOWS that getting more pills is a must.

Joan also knows, from a prior legal case, that most pharmacies and doctor's offices are now computerized and tied-in to one another. "Think, FAST!"

On October 15, she calls a co-worker. This guy, James, always has access to Vicodin. He buys the drug from street dealers.

Now, very desperate, Joan takes the chance that could have ended a career destined to become a shooting star, and buys 100 'Vikes' at $4 a pill from James.

The hydrocodone in the Vicodin still gives the charge that feeds her incredible energy and happiness supplies, so she cancells her interview with the neurologist in a dangerous swap for "street buying."

1 1/2 Years Later - October 18, 2013

By now, Vicodin totally rules Joan's life.

  • Getting enough pills to last until the next supply wagon comes in is the ONE AND ONLY THING Joan thinks about
  • Her once-perfect marriage ends
  • Joan is now in a frightening prospect to lose her extravagant position
  • She has worn out her welcome st once-familiar dentist and doctors' offices
  • Joan is only one week away from disaster
  • Vicodin has now fully and utterly taken over. The pills dictate how many yellow and whites to take every day, and SHE CAN NOT STOP TAKING THEM. At about the same time, her "connection" tells her - his 'supplier' was busted and sitting in jail, and that means no more pills.

Joan now knows:

  • No doctor in his/her right mind will prescribe 1200 pills/month
  • It was too dangerous for her to look for Vicodin on the street
  • Joan's Vicodin journey is over: Joan Simone has reached rock bottom

Rehab Hell - October 20, 2013

ONLY because Joan ran out of illegal ways to obtain a white or yellow pill did she seek help. She was forced to check into a rehabilitation unit. For Joan, rehab,was not a pretty picture.

  • Gone were her limo rides to work
  • Gone, the puffy bed containing her favorite pillow
  • Gone, her health

She was now sharing a room containing two miniature, straight-backed beds with a roommate she didn't know.

Within 24 hours of rehab check-in she experiences violent, non-stop vomiting accompanied with excruciating body aches and hallucinations. Her condition, so severe, the rehab facility checks her in to a hospital where she stays two full weeks.

She does eventually manage short term recovery, but a full recovery is not to come for over two full years.

Get Help

If you, or someone you know has a strong addiction to Vicodin - SEEK HELP!

Leave all care and concern about the stigma attached to being an addict. Simply admit and accept, first to yourself and then to family, trusted friends, healthcare providers—Any and all professional resources found in cyberspace or by word of mouth that this drug now rules your whole being.

Freedom from Vicodin addiction IS readily available, but the addicted person must have arrived at a place commonly known as "rock bottom." Then; only then, recovery becomes possible. ...

© 2014 James Ranka aka Copywriter31


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    Post Comment
    • copywriter31 profile imageAUTHOR

      James Ranka 

      5 years ago from Port Neches

      Thank you - I'm pleased the story helped. Best to your friend.

    • profile image

      Cathy Thomas 

      5 years ago

      Extremely well written and filled with useful information. A good friend is currently fighting Vicodin addiction and I will recommend she read this story.


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