The Drug Enforcement Agency recently issued a new regulation meant to reduce drug abuse by placing hydrocodone, the most prescribed painkiller in the United States (and the drug found in Vicodin), in a more restrictive category. The regulation changes the way that prescriptions of drugs containing hydrocodone can be filled by requiring a new prescription for each refill and prohibiting doctors from calling in prescriptions for such drugs by telephone. Proponents of the regulation claim that it will help curb the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse in the country. However, others point out that oxycodone has always been in a more restrictive category and is responsible for more deaths than hydrocodone.
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