So, by your logic, when we sell cards we are also triggering their effects? Or when an excess card from the shop gets discarded, it would also trigger the effect?
Because well, it's my turn, and they're being discarded.
I believe the key words we're looking for here are not "discard it during your turn", because a lot of other effects trigger that, like the shop. The key word we're looking for here is MAY.
The discard needs to be triggered by a choice, and to specifically gain the effect of that item, and not by a forced rule. That constitutes as a USE of the item, as described in the ITEMS section of the rules.
I do agree that, thematically, it would make sense to just immediately use the item, but I do not believe that's how it was intended to be played. If that's how it was, then the Event-type cards would literally have no reason to exist, since they are the only type of item to be immediately used, that is, at the time of the reveal, and before readjustment of inventory. A fistful of caps, for example, is never in your inventory, that's just a way of the game to say "hey, ignore this card and just get 3 caps instead".
Furthermore, in the ITEMS section of the Rules Reference, it says:
- Items that cannot be equipped (aid, drugs, and magazines) can be used while in a survivor's inventory.
A little before that, in the INVENTORY section:
- If a survivor gains cards in excess of his or her inventory slots, he or she must choose and discard cards until there are only three remaining.
The cards in excess are NOT in the inventory, they are in excess of the inventory, so they CANNOT be used according to the ITEMS section.
Now, that does leave the question: is this how addiction was really intended to be played out? It's really rough to not be able to use Addictol if you have 3+ drugs, and to have to rely on the lab coat. Granted that the Endurance test is easy to pass, especially if you have Endurance and other means to reroll. My opinion is that it was really intended to be this way, leaving drugs as powerful last-resort type items in case all your rerolls and extra hits fail, and with a chance to screw with your inventory until the endgame, or until you find an alternative.