Some of the Government’s Tactics in Dealing With Substance Abuse Should Be Considered State-Organized Crime

The acetaminophen added to hydrocodone is to warn drug abusers not to take the drug, but it is killing them instead

Glen Hendrix
8 min readFeb 22


Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash

America’s Protestant churches started a temperance movement in the 1820s that gained momentum in the early 1900s. It began with the suggestion of moderation. This led to urging people to resist the temptation to drink in the quest for complete abstinence. Ultimately, there was a call for the banning of liquor altogether by the government. This despite the Bible not forbidding drinking and Jesus clearly imbibing wine.

From January 16, 1919 to December 5, 1933, was the era of Prohibition. Drinking alcohol was illegal. The law was so ignored that the government decided to poison the industrial alcohol criminals were stealing and reselling to the American public. The theory was that fear of poisoned alcohol would prevent people from drinking it.

The government’s poisoning of the public’s liquor supply did not work.

It did not deter the buying and drinking of alcohol even though the government kept up its deadly program to the bitter end. When Prohibition was finally over 10,000 Americans had died, and tens of thousands more were blinded or paralyzed because of their government’s actions to enforce the laws making it illegal to imbibe alcohol.

I could find no evidence through online searches that the government ever apologized to or compensated the victims or their families.

You would think the powers that be would learn from their mistakes but no. The modern day version of this story is the FDA’s decision to allow Tylenol to be combined with hydrocodone under the trade name of Vicodin in 1978.

“Acetaminophen is added to the hydrocodone in Vicodin to increase the analgesic properties, but also to decrease the odds of abuse and diversion — the reasoning being that since taking too much acetaminophen can be harmful, people won’t consume more than the recommended amount of Vicodin.”

This was the same reasoning used to poison the liquor supply during Prohibition.



Glen Hendrix

Artist, writer, poet, inventor, entrepreneur