Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chronic pain, emotional distress often treated with risky medications

Date:
November 12, 2013
Source:
Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
People with chronic pain and emotional distress are more likely to be given ongoing prescriptions for opioid drugs, which may not help, finds a new review.

People suffering from chronic non-cancer pain and severe emotional distress, such as depression, anxiety and substance use, are likely to receive long-term opioid therapy despite a lack of evidence that this treatment helps, reports a new review in General Hospital Psychiatry. The review also noted serious unmet needs for psychiatric care for people with chronic pain.

"Patients with severe emotional issues are likely to receive high dose, high risk opioid regimen for chronic pain over a long period of time," said the review's lead author Catherine Q. Howe, M.D., PhD., assistant professor in psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. But, she added, these patients tend to do poorly with opioid therapy. Adverse outcomes may include misuse and abuse of opioids and even overdose and death.

Other studies have suggested that mental health disorders are not solely a reaction to chronic pain. They also predispose individuals to the development of chronic pain. There may be common factors such as childhood abuse and neglect that increase the risk of chronic pain, substance use and mental health disorders.

The Institute of Medicine estimates that 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. In the past 15 years, use of long-term opioid therapy for chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) has quadrupled.

Researchers reviewed various studies culled from pain clinics, patient surveys, including phone surveys and health insurance files. They defined frequent opioid use as taking opioids drugs several times a week for one or more months over a calendar year. People with psychiatric disorders were more likely to use prescription opioids.

"What these patients really need is psychiatric care instead of the de facto treatment of opioids," Howe explained. "When psychiatric services aren't available, patients often end up on opioid therapy because the drugs numb the emotional pain as well as providing temporary relief for physical pain."

Bankole Johnson, DSc., M.D., chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine agreed with the study's findings but said the use of opioids was not so much an epidemic as an "overuse of psychotropic drugs."

He added, "It's not clear what the alternatives are for patients when pain is not controlled. The crux is to provide integrative pain care so patients go into remission without the overuse of psychotropic drugs."

Johnson said the study raises the importance of an integrative approach when managing pain care. "The mind and body are closely tied together," he noted. "Doctors sometimes forget that -- that pain is an emotional state, which is why people have different pain thresholds."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for Advancing Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center for Advancing Health. "Chronic pain, emotional distress often treated with risky medications." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112162838.htm>.
Center for Advancing Health. (2013, November 12). Chronic pain, emotional distress often treated with risky medications. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112162838.htm
Center for Advancing Health. "Chronic pain, emotional distress often treated with risky medications." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112162838.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins