The opioid epidemic and hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin) use has spread through the United States like wildfire. The United States makes up only 4.6% of the world’s population but consumes 80% of its opioids — and 99% of the world’s hydrocodone, the opiate that is in Vicodin. Most of those prescriptions are unnecessary. The use of hydrocodone/acetaminophen, the most popular pain relief drug in the country, has grown dramatically from 112 million doses prescribed in 2006, to 181 million in the U.S. today, according to a national survey done by the consulting firm Intercontinental Marketing Services (IMS) Health. Clearly there is an opioid epidemic and clearly a large part of the problem is Vicodin use.