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A new study released by the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System’s Center for Clinical Management Research, and the University of Michigan Medical School’s Addiction Center, shows promising results for pain management that doesn’t rely on opiate medications.

More and more, researchers are focusing their efforts on finding ways to treat chronic pain without putting patients at risk for addiction. Patients with chronic pain who are already addicted, or are in recovery from addiction, have a particularly complicated situation to endure. Either they take the medications, keeping them in a place of dependence on drugs and putting them at risk for worsened addiction, or their pain interferes with their addiction recovery. Particularly when this country is in the midst of an opiate addiction epidemic, it is critical that we find alternatives to opiate-based treatment for pain management.

Is ImPAT theFuture of Pain Management?

ImPAT, or “Improving Pain during Addiction Treatment,” is a non-pharmaceutical pain management alternative that was recently studied in addicted veterans. It combined behavioral therapy with social support in a novel treatment regimen that is showing impressive results. The program, which can be read about in more detail here, includes methods that help people adapt to pain, distract themselves from their pain, and conceptualize ways to function regardless of pain. In addition to being low cost, “Veterans who received this pain-focused care while also being treated for addiction found that the intensity of their pain decreased, their ability to function increased, and their alcohol use went down, compared to veterans who received a less-focused approach.”

A follow-up study has been planned, but the results of this study are certainly promising for addicts that also suffer from chronic pain.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call the professionals at Serenity Acres today for your free confidential assessment, 1-800-203-2024.