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Chronic Pain and Substance Abuse

Sufferers of chronic pain often find relief through an individualized regimen of prescription medication and physical therapy/regular exercise.  Unfortunately, many of these same patients also often develop drug addictions to their painkillers, since many of these medications include a form of methadone or other narcotics.  In an effort to understand more about developing drug addictions in chronic pain patients and to reduce the occurrence of this phenomenon, a recent study took a closer look.
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota took a look at chronic pain patients who were also addicted or at-risk for addiction for prescription drugs.  The Mayo Clinic instituted a substance abuse education portion to the chronic pain section of their clinic and recorded the results.  According to the press release, "The study addressed substance use in chronic pain patients, and the researchers aimed to determine the efficacy of a 3-week interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation treatment for patients with chronic pain who have an increased risk of substance abuse. With 50 percent of their patients clearly candidates for an addiction treatment program, the Center began to incorporate substance use education into their interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program. Not only could patients improve their functioning and mood as it related to their pain, but they could also begin to explore and increase their awareness of their substance abuse risk.".  Hopefully, other chronic pain clinics and pain specialists will follow suit and continue to incorporate substance abuse education into their treatment procedures.
Chronic pain is a serious and life-altering diagnosis.  If you have been having trouble sleeping and have also had consistent pain lasting over six months, it might be time to consult with a doctor.  If this pain was caused by an accident due to the fault of another, it may also be time to consult with an attorney.   If you would like more information about this page or central Pennsylvania attorney Doug Stoehr's areas of practice, contact our Altoona, Pennsylvania, law firm by calling 814-946-4100. 

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