Intersection of Pain and Opioid Addiction— Research and Clinical Practice

Sunday, March 29, 2015
8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Petra Jacobs, MD, Center for the Clinical Trials Network, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA/CTN), Rockville, MD
Seddon Savage, MD, Chronic Pain & Recovery Center, Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan, CT, and Dartmouth Center on Addiction, Concord, NH
Peggy Compton, PhD, Georgetown University School of Nursing, Washington, DC
Judith Tsui, MD, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Richard Schottenfeld, MD, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Walter Ling, MD, UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Los Angeles, CA


Pain is highly prevalent in patients with opioid addiction. Dhingra (2013) found a presence of clinically significant pain in almost half of the patients in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs). In this study as well as previous studies, the presence of pain was found to be associated with medical and psychological comorbidity and distress. Rupp and Delaney (2004) shows that patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) are less likely than others to receive effective pain treatment as clinicians are concerned that they may misuse opioids.

The research evidence and clinical experience on how to treat comorbid opioid addiction and pain is emerging. Chang and Compton (2013) described that the goal of chronic pain treatment in patients with SUDs should be the same as that for patients without SUDs, which is to maximize functionality while providing adequate pain relief. However, the complex relationship between pain and addiction requires careful assessment, sustained monitoring, and integrated relapse prevention & pain management in patients treated with methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone.

This session will summarize the current research base for the treatment of pain in OTP patients, present assessment and treatment strategies, and specific interventions that have demonstrated its effectiveness.

Sponsored by the National Institute for Drug Abuse, the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (NIDA/CTN)

Please go to http://www.aatod.org/national-conference/2015-aatod-conference-atlanta/continuing-education-credit/ for more information on continuing education credits for each section of the website.

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