The United States is facing a national opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2017 that nearly 1 in 7 people who received an initial 8-day opioid prescription were still using them one year later. This 2-page fact sheet developed by the Program to Achieve Wellness, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), addresses the clinical state of chronic pain management. It provides resources and information for alternative treatment approaches to treat chronic pain and strategies to reduce the likelihood of opioid addiction.

Recommendations to address chronic pain in individuals without the use of opioids include promoting conversations between healthcare providers and patients about chronic pain and health habits. Quality of care may be negatively impacted if providers do not have these conversations with their patients in the screening and intake process. The fact sheet offers non-medication alternatives for pain management such as physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment. With over half of opioid prescriptions in the United States in 2017 being given to people with behavioral health issues, treatment for chronic pain must look at more than pain management.

This resource was first shared in 2018.

(PDF, 300 KB)