Pain management – cat among the pigeons

“Life is pain…anyone who tells you differently is selling something” William Goldman, The Princess Bride Pain and addiction are intertwined. Prescribed medication for pain can be a route into addiction. In practice I regularly see people on multiple medications for pain, making treatment of their addiction challenging. Last year Public Health England found that one in four … Continue reading Pain management – cat among the pigeons

Mind Over Matter: Beating Pain and Painkillers

Findings were recently published on a study of a mindfulness based intervention for chronic pain and opioid misuse. To test the treatment, 115 chronic pain patients were randomly assigned to eight weeks of either MORE or conventional support group therapy, and outcomes were measured through questionnaires at pre- and post-treatment, and again at a three-month … Continue reading Mind Over Matter: Beating Pain and Painkillers

Methadone with and without counseling

Drug and Alcohol Findings reviews research on the impact of counseling for methadone patients. While across the board there was significant improvement, being assigned to standard/enhanced versus interim (no counseling) programmes did not further improve retention, illicit drug use and related problems, or make much difference to criminal activity. There was no evidence that interim … Continue reading Methadone with and without counseling

Buprenorphine and emotional reactivity

The following article was shared with me by a reader. Not surprisingly, the emphasized portion below caught my eye. [emphasis mine] Abstract Addictions to illicit drugs are among the nation’s most critical public health and societal problems. The current opioid prescription epidemic and the need for buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®; SUBX) as an opioid maintenance substance, and its … Continue reading Buprenorphine and emotional reactivity

Solving the prescription opioid problem

I've posted several times recently on the problem of opioid over-prescription and overdose. Some might assume that I want some regulatory or statutory intervention to address the issue. Truth is, I've got more questions than answers and I would not support a response that forces us to choose between treating pain and preventing addiction and … Continue reading Solving the prescription opioid problem

Overprescription of opioids is bad medicine

Keith Humphreys points out that the problem with the explosion of prescriptions for opioids isn't just addiction and overdose. They are often just not good medicine. Opioids typically have a miraculous effect on acute pain, but this does not necessarily translate to chronic pain relief, particularly as tolerance sets in over time. Even more disturbing, … Continue reading Overprescription of opioids is bad medicine