Fortunately, I have a prescription for hydrocodone. I took one of those pills, and it brought the pain under control. Now I can do my work, and get on with my day. When I tell you that I thank God for this medication, I mean it literally. It makes my work possible when I’m in pain. I’m really fortunate in that this medication does not make me feel high. It stops the pain, but that’s it.
And that’s precisely how people get addicted to opioids. They keep expecting “a high” – hallucinations, elation, feeling good – which never happens with this sort of drug. So they decide they are not the addictable kind and keep ingesting the poison. Their brains start manufacturing pain – there’s a medical term for this that I don’t remember right now – to keep getting the drug. The pain becomes “chronic” because it’s necessary to get a fresh dose.
People need to get massively educated about opioids. Or they will keep getting addicted. It is absolutely mind-boggling that even educated folks with every resource at their disposal believe they aren’t addicted because there is no recognizable “high” when the very nature of their pain screams addiction.
There is zero difference between this and alcoholics who say “I just drink socially, I can quit any time, I’m not addicted.”