Case in point - (spoiler alert) this recaplet for House.
Okay, most of it is pretty much on target, but they have this thing about House and his Vicodin, and then the morphine.
House isn't addicted to painkillers because they get him high - and they only get him high when he's forced to be off them for awhile. He also has a tremendous tolerance for alcohol.
He's addicted because they allow him to function. When one is in pain, especially great pain, it's impossible to think about anything else. This is a man who *broke his own hand* to distract himself when he was off the pain meds. And no one thought it was weird. He paced throughout this episode to distract himself (and good for Cameron for realizing this.) He even got the masseuse again, he was so desperate. And he did not look like he was enjoying himself much.
He keeps morphine in his house, yes. He keeps it so high up that he has to climb on a chair to get it - and climbing on a chair is a major feat for House. He keeps it in a locked box. He's made it so difficult that he won't get it unless he needs it - unless the Vicodin is not controlling his pain anymore. And everything looked...new. Which makes sense, since he made a big deal about asking Cuddy for a shot. He hasn't needed it before.
And, even so - when he got that call, he did NOT take the shot.
Not a morphine addict.
But I'll bet he wishes he was one.