Current Psychiatry Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 377–384 | Cite as

Management of opioid medications in patients with chronic pain and risk of substance misuse

  • Seddon R. Savage


When prescribed appropriately and used as prescribed, opioid medications can safely and effectively treat pain. Best practices with respect to their use in chronic non-cancer-related pain (CNCP) are evolving. Opioids may be subject to misuse for a variety of purposes, including self-medication, use for reward, compulsive use because of addiction, and diversion for profit. Individuals with chronic pain and co-occurring substance use, mental health disorders, and other conditions may be at increased risk for misuse of prescribed opioids. Interdisciplinary pain management, the use of universal precautions in all patients, and special attention to the structure of care in those at higher risk for opioid misuse may improve outcomes in opioid treatment of CNCP. This article discusses evolving research and clinical literature related to the care of individuals with CNCP at a higher risk for opioid misuse.


Methadone Maintenance Treatment Chronic Pain Patient Opioid Treatment Opioid Medication Universal Precaution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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