Bryant supports restriction for key painkiller

All it takes to get a painkiller as addictive as heroin is a call-in prescription from a doctor, dentist or nurse practitioner.

Hydrocodone (known more commonly by brand names Vicodin and Lortab) is a Schedule III drug when mixed with acetaminophen or something similar, which means not only can the prescription be filled by phone, it also can be refilled as many as five times.

By itself, hydrocodone and fellow opioid painkillers, such as morphine, oxycodone and codeine, fall into the more restrictive Schedule II category, requiring medical providers to write a prescription.

Clarion Ledger