My doctor has prescribed Vicodin (standard 5/500 dosage) for a chronic pain condition, to be taken as needed when pain flares up. It's quite effective for my pain, even if I take only a quarter of a pill at a time.
I am trying to judge what threshold of discomfort/pain I should tolerate before I take the Vicodin. A lot of the time the severity of my pain is in a gray area: I would benefit from the Vicodin, but I could get by without it.
To get a reference point, I'm interested in assessing how the health effects of Vicodin use compare in severity to other drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana, especially long-term. Right now I have no idea: is it way worse? Way better? About the same? This
2007 Lancet paper would be a useful starting point, but it doesn't include Vicodin in its ranking.
For those who are well versed, which of the following would you be most/least willing to tolerate the negative health consequences of?
(a) Taking half a pill of Vicodin
(b) Drinking 4 beers
(c) Vaporizing a typical amount of marijuana
(I ask only about the negatives because I can easily quantify the positives.)
About me: male, mid-20s, with moderate chronic pain, otherwise in good health.