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: 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 01/2013; 6:513-29.
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ABSTRACT: Psychiatric disorders may be more common in burn-injured subjects than in the general population, and oftentimes contribute to the injury itself. Even in the absence of underlying psychiatric illnesses, burn patients may still benefit from a psychiatric evaluation during and after their hospitalization. In this regard, we included a dedicated psychiatry service in our multidisciplinary burn team. We review herein the course of burn patients that were offered psychiatric evaluation and highlight the benefits of such a program. We conducted an IRB-approved retrospective chart review of burn subjects admitted to our institution between June 15, 2009 and April 30, 2010 and identified 83 patients that were examined by our psychiatrist. Indications for consultation, history of psychiatric illness and substance abuse, as well as administered drugs, were recorded. Among the 83 evaluated patients, 48 (57.8%) had a preexisting psychiatric disorder and 36 (43.4%) suffered from substance abuse. The most common indications for consultation were pain (28.1%), alcohol dependence (25.8%), anxiety (24.7%), illicit drug abuse (16.8%), depression (15.7%), post-traumatic stress disorder (8.9%), and sleep disturbances (8.9%). Pharmacotherapy was initiated in 75 patients (90.3%). 31 (37.3%) had neither a psychiatric disorder nor a history of substance abuse, although 26 of them (83.9%) still received drugs for psychiatric conditions. The inclusion of a dedicated psychiatrist as part of our burn team has improved our comprehensive burn care. In the overwhelming majority of cases, even in the absence of preexisting psychiatric illnesses, consultation resulted in pharmacologic intervention and enhanced patient care.The Annals of Fires and Burn Disaster 12/2013; 26(4):213-216.
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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 01/2013; 22(1):75-83. · 1.74 Impact Factor