Pain Management in Recovery and Addiction

My latest post for MyRACentral is about managing pain when you're addicted or in recovery:

My friend T. lives with high levels of chronic pain. The pain makes it difficult to get through each day and it's not just having an impact on his physical function, but on his relationships with his family and friends, as well. Despite this, he's not taking any pain medication. T. was an alcoholic and has been sober for nine years. He's afraid that if he starts treating his pain, he might relapse and start drinking again.

Those of us who live with high levels of chronic pain are often faced with concerns about addiction to painkillers. Sometimes it's our family and friends who get worried and sometimes it's our doctors. The goal of managing chronic pain is to "obtain reasonable pain relief while maintaining a maximum level of function" (Prater, Zylstra and Miller, 2002). At HealthCentral, we do our best to help you get that kind of pain control by giving you the tools you need to counter concerns about addiction. The fact is that the risks are generally quite low. But what if you are in recovery from addiction or are still struggling with it? How can this impact treatment for your pain?"

You can read the rest of the post here.