Chronic Pain in Patients with Substance Abuse Disorder: General Guidelines and an Approach to Treatment
ABSTRACT Treating pain may be difficult in patients with a coexisting substance abuse disorder. Opioids can be used successfully to control pain in such a patient population, but the physician must have a general understanding of addictive behavior and early signs of abuse. The challenge is not in treating pain, but identifying true pain from drug-seeking behaviors. Furthermore, several myths of opioid usage, such as iatrogenic addiction and risk of disciplinary action, may be unfounded. General guidelines and open communication between patient and physician may aid in controlling pain. With better understanding and a systematic treatment approach, patients with substance abuse disorders can receive adequate symptomatic pain relief.
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ABSTRACT: Urine drug testing has become a widely used tool in American society for deterring illicit drug use. In the practice of medicine, urine drug testing is commonly used to help diagnose substance misuse, abuse, or addiction. This narrative review provides an informed perspective on the importance of urine drug testing in the medical treatment of chronic noncancer pain. The history and current uses of urine drug tests in the United States are reviewed, the prevalence and nature of prescription drug misuse is described as is related to chronic noncancer pain, and implications and considerations for practitioners are presented related to the noncancer pain diagnosis and treatment. Practitioners are confronted with the ethical and legal dilemma of being called to adequately treat chronic pain in a culture with a high prevalence of prescription drug abuse. Yet the symptoms of drug abuse are nonspecific and therefore of limited value to the practitioner in determining patient compliance to drug treatment regimens. In contrast, urine drug testing has a reliable history, both in and out of medicine, as an independent sign of drug misuse. This sign can be used to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of drug misuse and underlying addictions to improve patient outcomes. Regular urine drug testing should be a part of acute and chronic pain management whether or not the patient has any signs or symptoms of drug misuse.Pain physician 03/2010; 13(2):167-86. · 4.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many individuals receiving methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for opioid addiction also require treatment for acute or chronic pain, and the presence of pain is known to have a negative impact on patient health and function. However, effective pain management in this population is complicated by many factors, including heightened pain sensitivity, high opioid tolerance, illicit substance use, and variable cross-tolerance to opioid pain medications. This article reviews the recent literature on acute and chronic pain among, and pain treatment of, patients receiving MMT for opioid addiction and discusses the implications for effective pain management. Acute pain management among women maintained on methadone during and after labor and delivery is also discussed, as well as common concerns held by patients and providers about appropriate pain management strategies in the context of methadone maintenance and addiction treatment. One hundred nine articles were identified in a PubMed/MEDLINE electronic database search using the following search terms: methadone, methadone maintenance, methadone addiction, pain, pain management, chronic pain, and acute pain. Abstracts were reviewed for relevance, and additional studies were extracted from the reference lists of articles identified in the original search. The pain sensitivity and pain responses of MMT patients differ significantly from those of patients not maintained on opioids, and few data are available to guide patient care. Rigorous studies are needed to identify and evaluate effective pain management approaches for this unique patient population and to improve patient treatment outcomes. (Am J Addict 2012;XX:000-000) (Am J Addict 2013;22:75-83).American Journal on Addictions 02/2013; 22(1):75-83. DOI:10.1111/j.1521-0391.2013.00308.x · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: For the past 30 years, opioids have been used to treat chronic nonmalignant pain. This study tests the following hypotheses: (1) there is no strong evidence-based foundation for the conclusion that long-term opioid treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain is effective; and (2) the main problem associated with the safety of such treatment - assessment of the risk of addiction - has been neglected. Scientometric analysis of the articles representing clinical research in this area was performed to assess (1) the quality of presented evidence (type of study); and (2) the duration of the treatment phase. The sufficiency of representation of addiction was assessed by counting the number of articles that represent (1) editorials; (2) articles in the top specialty journals; and (3) articles with titles clearly indicating that the addiction-related safety is involved (topic-in-title articles). Not a single randomized controlled trial with opioid treatment lasting >3 months was found. All studies with a duration of opioid treatment ≥6 months (n = 16) were conducted without a proper control group. Such studies cannot provide the consistent good-quality evidence necessary for a strong clinical recommendation. There were profound differences in the number of addiction articles related specifically to chronic nonmalignant pain patients and to opioid addiction in general. An inadequate number of chronic pain-related publications were observed with all three types of counted articles: editorials, articles in the top specialty journals, and topic-in-title articles. There is no strong evidence-based foundation for the conclusion that long-term opioid treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain is effective. The above identified signs indicating neglect of addiction associated with the opioid treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain were present.Journal of Pain Research 07/2013; 6:513-29. DOI:10.2147/JPR.S47182