Sleuth wrote: I see myself being a drug addict. Dale
Dale, this attitude is simply a result of acompletely misguided and misdirected social stigma on the part of the general population who has no idea of what it's like to live with a chronic illness. Let me help you free yourself from that incorrect thinking and reorient your attitude toward one that puts medication use in its proper light with respect to your situation:
The word "addiction" derives from a Latin root word that has several meanings, one of which implies dedication or devotion, as in you are devoted to something. Look at it this way: you are now devoted to or dedicated to your illness in the sense that it's something that fills your life and demands your complete attention. Even in the sense in which the English word is used, it's appropriate in that addiction refers to something over which a person has no control. Right now your illness is in control, so that fits as well.
You are not, you will not, you cannot be addicted to drugs.
You ARE addicted to your physical ailments.
Medications are simply a way for you to be able to cope with your addiction. Perhaps to neutralize that illness addiction and put you back in control. Nice, twist on the addiction theme, eh?
Even from a completely pragmatic and physical standpoint, it's been demonstrated in clinical studies with chronic pain patients that when the level of pain medication is adjusted so that it's just enough to take care of the pain, but not so much as to cause a "high", then even the strong restricted pain medications such as Oxycontin do not produce physical addiction in most people with chronic pain issues.
Go for it!!