Conditions associated with severe pain can and do develop in persons who have active addiction or who are in remission from an addictive disease, and these patients may require treatment for pain relief. This presents a challenge to clinicians: How can pain be relieved in these patients without exacerbating or reactivating the addictive disorder?
There is little research data on this topic; however, experiential and anecdotal reports collected over the past 3 decades indicate that there are safe and effective approaches to pain management in these patients. In general, the pain treatment regimen for a person recovering from an addiction involves the use of long-acting opioids, such as sustained-release oxycodone, methadone, or buprenorphine, administered on a fixed dosage schedule, with another person holding the medication. Specific dosing recommendations are provided.
By: Penelope P. Ziegler, MD; Psychiatric Times (CMP Medica), 24(1), 2007.
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