Karen Lea Sees. Pain management in a patient with an addiction history. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1999;99(6_suppl):S11–S15. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.1999.99.6.S11.
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Despite a concerned effort over the past decade to improve education of healthcare providers and the public on the need for aggressive treatment of pain, this condition is still woefully undertreated. Patients who are the most undertreated for both acute and chronic pain, even terminal pain, are those with histories of addictions and those who are viewed as being at high risk for addiction. H physicians approach their
patients with the belief that they deserve good analgesia, then it is not appropriate to avoid prescribing controlled substances to anyone in pain, including addicted patients. It is not appropriate to deny an addicted patient pain medication simply because of their status of addiction. When these principles are followed, the healthcare professional's task of adequately treating pain becomes easier. Although the approach to pain treatment may be somewhat modified for patients with an addiction history, that history alone should not preclude treating their pain, including using opioid medications when appropriate.
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