I prefer to limit my opioid use for various reasons, including some Heather and Jim have noted.
The main reason is the more I take now, the less effective they will be in the future. There are both long-term and short-term mechanisms that reduce opioid efficacy. So if I can limit my use to just a few times a week, I'll minimize both tolerance-building mechanisms.
Until 2010, I was able to do that. But increase in pain levels and just being very sick of the pain had brought me to a point where most weeks, I'll use a BT med 5/7 days.
There is also an issue of personal control: the more medication I use, the more dependent I become on the drugs, on the doctors, etc..
Lastly, I'll only take meds that make it easier to maintain what I like to do during the day (write, spend time with others). So, whatever I take, I don't want to feel drowsy or cloudy. I'll only accept such side effects when the pain is so bad that lying down for a few hours still hasn't adequately alleviated the pain.
Of course, the above concerns are my own. Different pains & different lives will lead to different priorities. Off to see my PM doc!
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray