Beyond Opioids: A Stanford University Report
At A Healing Place – The Estates we are keeping our finger on the pulse of the opioid epidemic and are want to keep you informed about breaking news items. On January 10, 2017 an E-Blast went out from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) that introduced an innovative approach regarding pain management from Stanford University. It states in part:
Two weeks before they undergo surgery for breast cancer, women at a Stanford University breast clinic watch a 90-minute online video about pain and management of pain.
The video, called “My Surgical Success,” educates women about pain, distress and how to manage both using techniques like deep diaphragmatic breathing for relaxation. It emphasizes the benefits of self-care for pain control and healing, and includes a downloadable relaxation audio file that patients are encouraged to use daily. The video makes the point that pain is real and that distress exacerbates pain. The researchers behind the intervention hope that if women can cope with distress effectively, they also will manage their pain more effectively.
Our Chief Clinical Director, Dr. Stephen F. Grinstead, believes this is an important prevention strategy as stress is a significant co-existing condition that impacts not only a patient’s perception of pain, but their experience of it as well. That is why we educate our patients about stress and effective pro-active strategies for managing it. In fact, our Medical Director, Joseph Cabaret, MD states “You can’t do pain management without stress management.”
Acute pain research offers valuable insights about chronic pain management and, more importantly, the opioid epidemic. There is a link between people who develop significant chronic pain disorders and subsequent opioid problems as a result of surgical procedures; this study addresses it well:
Acute postsurgical pain differs from chronic pain. There is no question that opioids remain the primary pharmacotherapy for postoperative moderate to severe pain. However, a paradigm shift is underway. Surgeons and pain medicine experts are calling for more assiduous prescribing of opioids to surgical patients, along with more research on how to optimize their use. This change has been spurred by the recognition that acute postoperative pain can be a trigger for chronic pain or opioid addiction.
A paradigm shift is taking place in chronic pain management. A Healing Place – The Estates is on the cutting edge of that change and is demonstrating positive treatment outcomes. Our philosophy of meeting people where they’re at with our “triple diagnosis” program is based upon healing rather than just symptom management.