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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) Position Statement: Pain Management in Patients with Addictive Disease
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The American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) position is that patients with addictive disease and pain have the right to be treated with dignity, respect, and the same quality of pain assessment and management as all other patients. This includes maintaining a balance between provision of pain relief and protection against inappropriate use of prescribed medications. Nurses are well positioned and obligated to advocate for pain management across all treatment settings for patients actively using alcohol or other drugs, patients in recovery, or those receiving methadone for opioid dependence. (Authors)
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing, and treatable disease. It is characterized by a lack of control over consumption and compulsive use despite harmful consequences. These factors challenge the safe and successful management of pain in the addicted patient. Research in addiction medicine reveals a strong association between stress and drug craving. The stress of unrelieved pain may contribute to relapse in the recovering patient or increased drug use in the patient who is actively using. (Authors)
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