An update from Bens journal:
Ben never mentioned this but he only drinks diet cranberry juice. It's a unique beverage that only comes in 8 ounce cans: Ocean Spray Diet Sparkling Cranberry Juice. That's all Ben drinks. Seriously. Ben is 64 and for many years Ben only drank soda - Sprite precisely. Sprite is filled with sugar and caused some weight gain and blood sugar problems. Ben searched for a healthy replacement. Ocean Spray Diet Sparkling Cranberry Juice only has 3 grams of sugar - a healthy alternative to soda. He promptly lost nearly 20 pounds and kept it off just by changing from Sprite to cranberry juice. Ben stands six feet two inches tall and has maintained his weight at a healthy 210 pounds for the last 4 years. Ben buys the juice by the case and drinks about 8 cans a day. The reason I mention it is because many respondents in this thread have said Ben is destined to fail and fall off his 3 pill a day regimen due to building up a tolerance that will inevitably increase Ben's intake of Norco. What Ben wants is to experience the euphoria and pleasure of Norco for a few hours at night. Ben doesn't crave opiates during the day at all. He never takes them during the day - NEVER. He has managed to do this for 4 years without seeking an increase in dosage and still gets the pleasure he wants from the same dosage. Is it possible cranberry juice intensifies Norcos effect? I'm aware white grapefruit juice does this.
For whatever reason Ben's tolerance has remained stable and he does not require higher and higher dosages of Norco nor does he crave it during the day. He manages it the same way anyone manages anything they want to control. Ben consciously chooses to experience Norcos pleasure within the limits of the prescription written to him - and has successfully done so for a long time.
I make this point about Ben's choice because he is certainly addicted to Norco - but he hasn't let it destroy his life. Is that a healthy choice? Is it realistic? Can he continue this way? Is it possible to use such a highly addictive substance safely long term for personal pleasure? All very fair legitimate questions that Ben should consider. Is his judgment clouded by his love for opiates? Most certainly it is. The question Ben is searching for is can he continue to function at a high level, enjoy his DOC within the limitations described here, and enjoy his family and everything else life has to offer without the cloud of drug addiction hanging over his head?