Deaths related to opioid overdose have reached epidemic levels, targeting individuals with substance use disorders and chronic illnesses at the highest rate. Due to opioid’s lethality and high potential for addiction, individuals with behavioral health conditions and chronic pain are seeking alternative forms of pain management. In this podcast developed by the Program to Achieve Wellness, Dr. Mel Pohl and Niki Miller discuss the connections between chronic pain and behavioral health conditions and the concerns clients and providers may have using opioids for pain management. This episode is part one of a three-part series on chronic pain and is a valuable resource for primary care providers, behavioral health providers, and individuals with behavioral health conditions. 

In this episode, Dr. Pohl and Ms. Miller review the underlying truths about chronic pain and the concerns of prescribing opioids to treat chronic pain. Over-prescribing of opioids for chronic pain has increased reports of opioid addiction and overdose fatalities than ever before, with a 4-fold increase over the past 15 years. Even using opioids as prescribed has led to the development of addiction. Risk factors that increase susceptibility to developing addiction include mental health issues and recovery from substance use disorders. Opioids are not the only method of pain management, and Dr. Mel Pohl Niki Miller introduces alternative forms of pain management. 

For more information on chronic pain management, please view or download our fact sheet on non-medication supports for people with chronic pain.

Listen to the other two episodes in this series: Part 2 | Part 3 

This resource was first shared in 2018. 

(Podcast, YouTube)