Should a Drug Addict Ever Take Narcotics?

As an addict, I have wrestled with the question, “Should a drug addict ever take narcotics?” Some people in the AA and NA

community feel that the answer is no. Others feel that as long as you are in a 12 step program, take the prescription as directed and are accountable to a sponsor or another person, then it may be safe to do it. Is it about the level of pain you are in? The medical community uses a scale of one through ten to determine how much pain someone is in. Ten would be the worst pain a person has ever been in. My husband had a kidney stone a while ago. I have never had one, but some have compared the pain of a kidney stone to giving birth. In the emergency room, the doctor gave him a shot of toradol. Toradol is a powerful medication for pain; however it is not a narcotic. Morphine was the only thing that made his pain tolerable.

Cancer seems to be the one thing there is no dispute about. As I understand it, cancer pain is unrelenting in some cases. I don’t think that even the people who take the hard line in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous would argue that pain medication is needed for cancer patients.

Many people are in chronic pain from other conditions like arthritis for instance. Chronic pain can ruin the quality of life. Day after day of pain can cause depression and despair. Some people begin to withdraw from life as the pain is all they can think about. Often it comes to the point where there is little joy in the everyday things. Some people begin to think that death is preferable to a lifetime of pain.

I have a problem with my hip that causes immense pain every day. Some days are better than others, but even those days are hard to deal with. I can no longer do the things I used to do. I have to prioritize the things I need to do. I am a person who could literally go from six in the morning until eight at night without sitting down for very long. The more I got done the better I felt. Now if I go to a grocery store, when I come home I have to lie down. It’s pretty much the end of my day. Sometimes when I am in a store, I am not sure if I can walk to my car. There are times when I have wondered if I would have to call my husband to come help me to the car. Often there are days when there is no quality to my life.

As an addict, I feel that I have to live with it. Other times I think how much pain is enough to rationalize taking pain medication. Why should I suffer for a disease that I didn’t ask for? I would welcome comments from other addicts who wrestle with the question of, “Should a drug addict ever take narcotics?”

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