I have the alternative side, and sometimes the not so popular argument. There is a growing group of doctors who feel that prescribing narcotics for chronic pain is 'responsible' because it enables people to rejoin the world.
I reached a point earlier this year when I couldn't function anymore. I had tried all of the preventative medications, had come off narcotics and otc medications to ensure rebound headaches weren't playing a role, tried Botox, had seen all types of medical and alternative professionals to try and find a cure with no success. I had hit rock bottom and my depression was so bad that between it and my migraines I barely got out of bed.
My neurologist recommended a daily regimen of narcotics. I haven't felt this well in years. I actually had a whole week without a headache. It has been over 10 years since I have experienced that. There have been some side effects but I have overcome those.
I take a minimal amount 3 times a day. I don't wake up with headaches in the morning anymore and am able to do a lot of things I had to cut out of my life because of my headaches. I can enjoy a glass of wine now and again. If I get a migraine I can take 2 T3s and make it go within a couple of hours and be ready to go, whereas in the past I would be laid up for days.
I faced a lot of controversy in my decision. There is a lot of stigma when you tell people you're taking narcotics, especially by my familly. My sister didn't talk t0 me for several months. She thought I was going to turn into an addict. I haven't. We have now found a dose that works and I have stopped at that without need to increase it for several months now.
My neurologist says this doesn't always work for everyone, but if it does it's an option for those who have tried all of the other non narcotic options without success. I sometimes stop in on the chronic pain forum. They are a good set of folks to discuss narcotics with as many of them take them for their chronic pain.
There's no right or wrong answer to this question. It's what works for you and what gives you the best life. Taking narcotics doesn't make you an addict. You become physically dependent on them like people do with anti-depressants, thryroid medication, heart or blood pressure medication and many others. This means that your body needs the medication and you have to go off it slowly if you stop. As my doctors say, people with pain only take narcotics to stop the pain. When it stops, they stop taking it. I have yet to understand or experience the high an addict feels because of the low dose I take.
I hope this helps you make your decision and doesn't make it more difficult.
Co-moderator Migraine Forum
I'm working everyday to overcome the pain and depression that comes from my chronic resistant migraines.