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Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
Legal Status
by Erowid
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
Schedule II
Hydrocodone and any products which contain it are Schedule II in the United States. This means they are illegal to sell without a DEA license and illegal to buy or possess without a license or prescription.

Prior to October 6, 2014, products containing less than 15 mg hydrocodone per dosage unit were Schedule III in the United States. Almost all prescription hydrocodone was prescribed in Schedule III dose units (e.g. Vicodin). In 2013, an FDA advisory panel recommending moving these Schedule III preparations into Schedule II at the DEA's request. Further, a group of US congresspeople pressured the FDA to follow that recommendation, and the change in schedule took effect the following year. See the DEA ruling, the FDA commentary, and .

Schedule II drug prescriptions may only be refilled with a written prescription.

While most state laws are consistent with the federal scheduling system, they can and do vary from state to state. As most prosecutions happen at the state level it is important to be familiar with your state and local laws.

Canada #
Although there are many rumors stating that products containing hydrocodone may be purchased over-the-counter in Canada, it appears that Hydrocodone is a Schedule I drug in Canada, requiring a prescription.
China (Macau) #
We have heard that products containing hydrocodone (such as Vicodin) can be purchased over-the-counter in Macau.
Colombia #
One visitor reported that tramadal, codeine with acetaminophen, hydrocodone with ibuprofen (5/200), and dihydrocodeine by itself can be purchased in Colombia over the counter in any drug store. (unconfirmed) (thanks p) (last updated Jun 12 2013)
Germany #
Hydrocodone is BTM Anlage 3 in Germany making it illegal to possess without a BTM prescription. (unconfirmed) (thanks PM)
Italy #
Although one contributor told us hydrocodone is available over-the-counter, this may be incorrect. We have also been told by more than one submitter that it is available only behind the counter, where a pharmacist can choose whether or not to dispense it if there is no prescription. (unconfirmed) (thanks N, J)
Mexico #
Prescription only. Although there are rumors that products containing hydrocodone may be purchased over-the-counter in Mexico, we have been unable to verify these rumors, instead finding that hydrocodone is either available only by prescription or perhaps not available at all, even with a prescription. Lortab, Vicodin, etc are reportedly widely available on the black market (last updated Jan 2004).
Netherlands #
Hydrocodone is Schedule I and thus prescription-only in the Netherlands. This makes it illegal to possess without a prescription or license. See http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0014405/geldigheidsdatum_13-05-2013 (thanks r) (last updated May 13, 2013)
Thailand #
We have been told that hydrocodone is not available over-the-counter or by prescription in Thailand. (unconfirmed) (thanks M)
U.K. #
Hydrocodone is Schedule II/Class A in the U.K., making it illegal to buy or possess without a prescription.
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.