Is Tylenol 3 the most addictive drug?

Is Tylenol 3 The Most Addictive Drug?

Tylenol 3 The Most Addictive DrugThere is a wide range of addictive drugs on the market and Tylenol 3 is definitely one of them.  New chemical compounds are created on a daily basis to fight chronic pain and ease the symptoms of various illnesses, but how can you tell which is the most addictive?  Many times it is hard to compare prescribed drugs to those created on the streets or over-the-counter (OTC) medications with different Schedules.  So in an effort to level the playing field, it is wise to consider a few characteristics when attempting to crown one drug as the most addictive.  Major points to note would be the prevalence, cost and legality of drugs across the board.


When considering Tylenol 3 as the most addictive drug on the market today, you should note that it is a Schedule III controlled substance, which means it is legal to have with a prescription, but otherwise classified as a narcotic.  It also contains a mixture of codeine and acetaminophen that can be highly addictive without proper medical supervision.  Tylenol 3 can be covered by many health care plans and is not considered to be an extremely expensive form of pain reliever.  When looking at the facts – widespread availability, low cost and legal to possess – there is a strong case for Tylenol 3 as the most addictive drug on the market.


Many would argue that Tylenol 3 is not nearly as addictive as heroin, but then again the illegality of heroin (along with similar narcotics: cocaine, methamphetamines…etc.) makes it more difficult for the average person to possess.  Alcohol is a legal drug and is highly addictive, but it cannot be purchased by individuals less than 21 years of age.  Other drugs that can be prescribed also fit the profile of Tylenol 3 and there are many that could be considered more addictive.  Oxycodone immediately comes to mind, as does several other morphine-based pain relievers.  The problem with Tylenol 3 is that it is typically prescribed more commonly than those drugs because their tendency for abuse is much higher, at least on paper.


Many people hear the brand Tylenol and associate it with everything from toddler-safe medications to those used during adolescence and into adulthood.  Less potent versions of the brand can be easily bought OTC without any prescription or referral.  Tylenol 3 is a bit different and can make a case for the most addictive drug due to its combination of active ingredients.  Specifically Tylenol 3 contains codeine and acetaminophen, which can form a highly addictive chemical compound that is known as an analgesic.  This particular analgesic contains the opioid codeine that blocks pain receptors and causes the brain to release dopamine, while acetaminophen also works to relieve pain and reduce fever by cooling the body.  Side effects of Tylenol 3 include:


  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Slowed respiratory functions
  • Blurred vision


These are all symptoms of the body slowing down under the euphoric effects of the drug.  When used in tandem with additional substances like alcohol, the effects can be very dangerous.  Individuals receiving Tylenol 3 for pain relief should be sure to check-in with their physician regularly to slowly reduce the dosage they are taking to avoid possible dependency.  Overall, a strong case can be made for Tylenol 3 as a very addictive drug on the market today, but treatment and recovery are far more prevalent than some other narcotics and with the help of facilities like the Horizons Clinic, addicts can complete successful recoveries.

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