Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 17–21

Pain and Opioid Addiction: What is the Connection?


DOI: 10.1007/s11916-009-0086-x

Cite this article as:
Carinci, A.J. & Mao, J. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2010) 14: 17. doi:10.1007/s11916-009-0086-x


Addiction to opioid analgesics is an important and yet underinvestigated clinical issue, which has substantial implications in opioid therapy for chronic pain management. Problematic opioid use, including compulsive opioid seeking and addiction, arises in some fraction of opioid-treated chronic pain patients. The connection between chronic pain and opioid addiction is a complex interplay between psychological, epidemiological, and neurobiological factors. Herein, we explore this critical relationship.


Opioids Abuse Addiction Aberrant drug related behavior (ADRB) Chronic pain Epidemiology Neurobiology Cellular mechanisms 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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