If we are serious about our recovery and about growing, then we don't want to put up any walls, even thin ones, between us and spiritual health/freedom. That means we don't mess with anything. That means we don't take Tylenol PM, Sudafed, or any mood or mind-altering substance whatsoever, regardless of how subtle. That means we don't take prescribed painkillers during or after surgery. Why, knowing that our bodies are permanently damaged, knowing that the allergy we have crosses all lines, and knowing that ANY mood-altering substance will set this allergy off, would we screw with anything? Plus, if we wuss out after getting a tooth pulled or some other nonsense, then we really can't be much of an example to anyone we might help or sponsor now, can we?
But whatever we do or don't do, the most important thing is intent. Is our intent in taking something to feel good, to feel different? If it is, even to the slightest degree, then it is of ill intent, it is wrong, it is dangerous, and by taking it you have without question relapsed. And remember, lying to ourselves is basically equivalent to relapsing as well, so we must be sure that we truly know our intent. Are we deceiving ourselves, thinking or believing our intent is pure when it may not be? Remembering that we are warped, isn't it better just not to mess with anything at all?
For the record, you can have surgery without taking narcotics like a baby. I've had an abdominal surgery and a wrist surgery (that included a nerve block procedure) without any pain meds whatsoever. Sure it hurt like hell, but it's possible, and I'm not willing to lose what I have now. We have to ask ourselves, how serious are we about our addiction, our recovery, our spiritual health? How serious are we about about living it, about setting an example for others? How serious are we about our lives, about getting closer to God? Shouldn't we be making choices and living in a way that we would recommend for all others, especially for other suffering addicts? So if we get sober and really want to change, then we will abstain from any and all mood-altering drugs, even during and after surgery.
To note, for major surgeries, such as my abdominal surgery, it is necessary to be unconscious. However, that procedure is non-narcotic and has no affect on the dopaminergic (reward) system of the brain or central nervous system.