PAINWeek Course Preview: Let No Man Write My Epitaph: Managing Chronic Pain in the Patient With Addiction

PW: Give us a brief overview of your course at PAINWeek 2015.

SR: While prescription pain medication is a great blessing for the vast majority of those who endure pain and discomfort, for those who suffer with pain and addiction and/or are in recovery, such medication may produce terrible and destructive results. Pain medication often fuels an individual’s addiction, which may further lead to drug-seeking fraudulence. Certainly, the prescribing physician and pharmacist are thrust into a conflict when working with a patient who is an addict.

This presentation will address the broad-ranging questions regarding the relationship between addiction and pain medication. Through decades of experience in the field of addiction rehabilitation, as well as personal accounts, we will explore: helping the patient who is an addict; how to best help recognize an addict who does not identify as one; the growing awareness of drug-seeking scams; and how to balance vigilance in prescribing medications with compassion for the suffering patient in our midst.

PW: Who should plan to attend?

SR: Everyone involved in prescribing or managing opioids and benzodiazepines.

PW: What will course participants learn that they can take back to their practices?

SR: Participants will learn to manage the risk that goes with risky medicines. Specifically, they’ll receive preparation in:

  1. Legal requirements for prescribing opioids
  2. Good practices for reducing risk with prescribing of controlled substances
  3. How to recognize addiction and abuse issues
  4. How to help patients recognize and treat addiction issues

PW: What is the “essential pearl” that PAINWeek participants will miss, if they miss your course?

SR: How to recognize abuse issues and not get scammed by “fake” patients.

As you review the Schedule and design your course agenda for PAINWeek 2015, plan to make this Special Interest Session (SIS-04) a part of your PAINWeek experience! We look forward to your participation at PAINWeek: The National Conference on Pain for Frontline Practitioners.


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