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Home > Managing chronic pain in adults with or in recovery from substance use disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 54.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. [SAMHSA, US] (2012) Managing chronic pain in adults with or in recovery from substance use disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 54. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 129 p. HHS publication no. (SMA) 12-4671

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Chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) is common in the general population as well as in people who have a substance use disorder (SUD. Chronic pain is not harmless; it has physiological, social, and psychological dimensions that can seriously harm health, functioning, and well-being. As a multidimensional condition with both objective and subjective aspects, CNCP is difficult to assess and treat. Although CNCP can be managed, it usually cannot be completely eliminated. When patients with CNCP have comorbid SUD or are recovering from SUD, a complex condition becomes even more difficult to manage.

This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) is for primary care providers who treat or are likely to treat adult patients with or in recovery from SUDs who present with CNCP. Given the prevalence of CNCP in the population, this audience includes virtually all primary care providers. Addiction specialists, psychiatrists, nurses, and other clinicians may find information here that will help them ensure that their patients with CNCP receive adequate pain treatment. By providing a shared basic understanding of and a common language for these two chronic conditions, this TIP facilitates cooperation and communication between healthcare professionals treating pain and those treating addiction.

This TIP equips clinicians with practical guidance and tools for treating CNCP in adults with histories of SUDs. It does not describe how to treat SUDs or other behavioural health disorders in patients with CNCP; however, it provides readers with information about SUD assessments and referrals for further evaluation. For patients with histories of SUDs, the most controversial and possibly hazardous pain treatment in widespread use is opioid treatment. For this reason, this topic receives significant attention in Chapters 3 and 4.


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