getting by - I think you still have addiction and tolerance a bit confused. When we must take narcotics regularly, we build up a tolerance and we will experience withdrawal if we stop taking the meds, or as you experienced, miss a dose or two. Experiencing withdrawal has nothing to do with addiction.
Tolerance is a physical issue. Addiction is a mental issue. It's that simple. If a person craves the narcotics for the feeling of getting high, and takes them to maintain that feeling, then that person is an addict. If a person takes these meds more than prescribed, or crushes, snorts or takes them in any way not directed by a doctor, then that person is an addict.
It's confusing for many of us with chronic pain issues when we have to take narcotics and go through withdrawal for the first time. Not only do we label ourselves as addicts, but our family members and friends do as well. It's all due to simple ignorance. Some people are willing to listen and be educated about
opiate therapy; others are so stuck in the "narcotics = addict" propaganda and they just won't be educated and will never change their minds. Shoot, I've run across plenty of so-called medical professionals who are like that. You just have to reach a point of acceptance and not let their labeling ruin your day. Yes, even if it's a family member. All you can do is try to rationally explain the issue, and if they won't listen - well, there isn't anything else you can do.
I've always felt my health issues and treatment were nobody's business, so I don't advertise anything that might leave me
open for an argument. Makes life a whole lot easier.