I've been on various narcotics for almost 3 and a half years now. Vicoden was the first one, and I had to come off that cold turkey thanks to a real bozo of a doctor. After that they put me on Loritab, and as of recently they switched me to Percoset.
I take 15mg of Percoset four times a day and pretty much don't experience any of the side effects. At most I feel a little foggy, meaning my memory isn't as sharp as it used to be. Kinda depressing some times to realize how much of my mind has eroded away, but I do brain building boosters and puzzles to try and exerecise that part of me.
Like you yourself stated: Mind over Matter, and the mind is a very powerful thing. You need to find a way to quiet your anxiety over your meds, and certainly your fear. If you go in expecting the worst you may create a self fullfilling prophecy. Not sure if that helps or not, but if you have any questions don't hestitate to ask.
One question I have to ask, as you mention panic attacks/disorder. Are you taking anything to help with that? If not perhaps your doctor can perscribe something that'll help ease you worries, thus helping to improve your quality of life.
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Percoset.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
No surgeon willing to do my SCSU Implant