Greater Portland’s Response to the Opioid Crisis

Sketch of a translucent handshake with a red heart i the background.

 

Our communities continue to struggle with an epidemic of opioid misuse and abuse. This epidemic has many causes. One contributing factor is our healthcare systems’ overreliance on pain medications to treat a large number of patients with chronic pain. Unfortunately, our current workforce does not include an inadequate array of behavioral and non-opioid options for the large populations of patients with chronic pain. Alternative treatments and models of care needed now, not later.

We are excited to introduce you to an innovative and important project in our community. We have organized a consortium of independent practitioners from various disciplines to participate in a project to respond to the needs cited above. The consortium includes skilled psychologists and other experienced clinicians as well as others who are interested in gaining such experience. Continue reading “Greater Portland’s Response to the Opioid Crisis”

Living in Pain

Exploring Non-pharmaceutical Interventions

Pain rating scale showing images reflecting a corresponding level of pain from 0 (being none) and 10 (being the worst pain ever).

In the past few posts, I discussed a number of pharmaceuticals that can be used in treating pain. Most recently, CBD has received a great deal of attention and press, but there is still a lack of consistent research findings to support many of the claims being made. I also discussed the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions to treat pain. But before we talk more about these, we will talk about what pain is.

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” Acute pain is usually transitory and resolves quickly. Pain that lasts a long time, usually 3 to 6 months, is called chronic or persistent. Continue reading “Living in Pain”

Taking a Pill to Solve a Problem

The Rise of the Abuse of Drugs

Old cocaine tooth drops advertisement.

We have all been trained to take medications to solve our problems. And in many cases, this is exactly what we need to do. Pharmaceuticals have played a major role in the advancement of our society and the improvement of our health. Unfortunately, this has taught us that just about any problem can be solved by taking a pill. Just find the right pill and your problem is solved. Continue reading “Taking a Pill to Solve a Problem”