In that chronic intractable pain has no cure by definition and doesn't go away but often is progressive and degenerative, it needs to be treated.
Pain kills, and the fact that untreated pain can quickly ruin a marriage, cause loss of job, self-esteem, involve a doubting partner, and kids who deserve a healthy, vibrant, and interested parent, pressure from all directions is directed at the chronic intractable
Pain medication can be part of a multi-faceted treatment plan and there are many people who have taken pain meds for years with-out complications and have for the last
4000 years. I have taken the same pain med and the same amount for 9 years.
One way to minimize tolerance is to rotate opioids but you will need a MD who is familiar with conversions and willing to work with you as it may take a little while to find the correct dosage of another opioid.
Those who self-medicate, and live by the code that if one is good two is better will not do well on opioids. Most of the people I know who have been on opioids for over 3 years have acclimated to a drug/dose that works for them and are also in PT, exercise,
bio-feedback, counseling, groups or group therapy for support, in other words an active pursuit of all things that help reduce pain. Opioids alone are not the answer
but with a program designed to keep the patients active, involved, and learning about their pain opioids have their place.
Use is taking pain meds by prescription from an MD, following the directions, and getting proactive about your pain.
Addiction is self-medication, no program or use via directions, just keeping the drug coming and increasing at any cost.
Use can give you your life back
Abuse WILL tear your life apart