People living with chronic pain can get very frustrated when they aren’t receiving the pain relief they want and deserve. I know because when I experience a pain flare up, I want the pain to stop—now! People in pain have come to expect instant relief through pharmaceutical advertising or TV commercials - they want it and they want it now. But when pain medications, which were developed for acute pain, are used for chronic conditions, people often get into trouble. While acute pain medication can give them the relief they are looking for, it can also set them up to anticipate a quick fix and potential future problems.
I will be presenting this information and much more at my presentation for the Evolution of Addiction Conference on February 8, 2013. With the number of chronic pain patients growing at an alarming rate, combined with the increases in opiate prescriptions we are in the midst of a major health care crisis. The Institute of Medicine in their report in June of 2011 called chronic pain a growing epidemic and that as many as 116 million Americans are living with chronic pain. The report goes on to state that we are spending well over $600 Billion in medical costs and lost productivity. Please check out my video below to hear more and then read the remainder of this post.
In my presentation I will explain that knowing the difference between appropriate and effective use of pain medication and the beginning of abuse is sometimes difficult to determine. Even so, there are progressive stages that include: medication dependency, medication abuse, pseudo-addiction, and finally addiction. The confusion and uncertainty of this progression can be a challenge for the person in pain and their treatment provider.
Some people living with chronic pain are afraid to take their narcotic medication (opiates etc.) because they have heard horror stories of people becoming addicted to their pain pills. This leads to a decision to under-medicate, live in pain, and suffer. If someone is in recovery for alcoholism or any other drug addiction, the problem is even worse. If they under-medicate it could trigger a relapse when they try to manage their pain. Or they overmedicate which could lead to a rapid tolerance buildup and finally a reactivation of their addictive disorder.
I will be explaining the importance of utilizing a team approach for the daunting problem. I will talk about how the Addiction-Free Pain Management® (APM™) Treatment System requires addressing the whole person, which means treatment plans for the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual domains, as well as including family members and significant others.
I will emphasize how we need to work with patients—not on them. We need to teach patients how to be the Captain of their own healthcare team by including integrated multidisciplinary treatment team members. APM™ treatment starts with a multidisciplinary assessment including medical, mental health and addiction. These three disciplines are necessary to implement the three core components of the APM™ Treatment System.
These are the three major components of the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System:
(1) A medication management plan: Using safe but effective medication protocols
(2) A cognitive-behavioral treatment plan using eight Core Clinical Exercises from the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Workbook
(3) A proactive nonpharmacological pain management plan intended to help patients be active participants in their own treatment process
Most pain patients will need a strategic combination of all of the above. To learn how to register for the Evolution of Addiction Conference with a 20% discount see the information listed below.
My presentation, Walking the Tightrope of Pain Management and Addiction, will be showcased 2/8/13, 4:00PM - 6:00PM. I would encourage you to participate in some of the other presentations as well, see the entire schedule here http://theevolutionofaddictiontreatment.com/schedule.html I sincerely hope that you can attend.
I have been given a 20% discount code that I would like to pass along to you as well. This discount code is valid for all registrations and is in addition to the pre-registration discount which expires 12/7/12. Simply enter this discount code Grinstead20 in the discount box at checkout and receive the extra 20% discount. I have been issued 20 discounts, so register early to make sure you can take advantage of the savings.
Please also note that the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel is a very nice hotel, and the rates that the conference has negotiated are outstanding. Please register your hotel rooms at the following link to get the deepest discounts http://theevolutionofaddictiontreatment.com/hotel.php