Every age group has been affected by the relative ease of hydrocodone availability and the perceived safety of these products by professionals. Sometimes seen as a “white-collar” addiction, hydrocodone abuse has increased among all ethnic and economic groups. DAWN data demographics suggest that the most likely hydrocodone abuser is a 20-40 yr old, white, female, who uses the drug because she is dependent or trying to commit suicide. However, hydrocodone-related deaths have been reported from every age grouping.
Hydrocodone-containing products are in tablet, capsule and liquid forms. A variety of colors, markings, and packaging are available. The major source of hydrocodone to the street has been through bogus call-in and forged prescriptions, professional diversion through unscrupulous pharmacists, doctors, and dentists, and large-scale thefts. The pills have been sold for $2 to $10 per tablet and $20 to $40 per 8 oz bottle on the street.