Catchy thread title, huh?
(The poll is anonymous ... replies to this thread are not anonymous).
I'm genuinely interested in the opinions or habits of others on this because I've seen a wide range of drugs that people use before, during, and after hiking.
I think the most common is ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) and whatever Aleve is, or old-skool aspirin (Bayer) which are all NSAID (anti-inflammatory) drugs.
Then there are OTC pain killers like acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Prescription pain-killers I've seen on the trail include Vicodin (acetaminophen plus hydrocodone) and Percocet (acetaminophen plus oxycodone) and oxycontin.
Some people medicate with marijuana.
Plenty of hikers drink alcohol, but I'm not sure that is ever to relieve physical pain on or after a hike.
As for me, I generally try to avoid drugs unless it is absolutely necessary. I carry Advil, Aleve, and some old Vicodin in my med kit, but even on a multi-day backpack trip in the Grand Canyon I generally don't take even one Advil. I was prescribed the Vicodin for an injury years ago but never took one. But I figure if I ever need to self-rescue from something it might be good to have on hand. I personally consider alcohol and weed to be purely social, not medicinal (though I totally accept that marijuana has medicinal uses for many people).
I've seen some people eat Advil like candy -- it's just part of the hiking routine. I wonder how typical this is.
I know everybody is different (and every body is different) so what one person needs, another person does not so these opinions and experiences can't necessarily be applied from one to another. But I think it's an interesting topic nonetheless.