The opioid crisis is forcing doctors to take different approaches to treating pain. In some cases, patients who have been prescribed opioids for years or decades are being abandoned or forced to quickly taper off opioids -- two poor approaches. Other patients are being steered in new directions that can improve pain and function with lower risks. I was honored to be featured in this Scientific American story (May 2017, Author: Stephani Sutherland, Ph.D.) in which the [...]
My inspiration for writing this second book was the patients I treat -- and the millions of other people living with pain who are seeking relief. I was also inspired by the legions of healthcare providers who are desperately looking for accessible, low-cost, non-opioid solutions to offer their patients. The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit is an easy-to-read resource that’s chock full of information that patients can put to use immediately. Written at the 8th grade level, it [...]
Stanford Medicine News Center covers new research led by Dr. Eric Sun from the Stanford Division of Pain Medicine. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, describes the incidence of and risk factors for chronic opioid use among opioid-naïve patients in the postoperative period. The study highlights which patients may be particularly vulnerable. Read the JAMA story here. The Stanford Medicine News Story (author: Tracie White) includes a discussion about how to treat pain differently to minimize risks. I [...]
The National Pain Report publishes a feature interview to address the question - what happens after opioids are limited or stopped? Patients with chronic pain are being unfairly punished for the actions of addicts. And, importantly: how do we treat pain differently? Beth Darnall, Ph.D. addresses all of these questions and more. Read the article here.
Dr. Darnall's Healthgreatness article on Opioid Tapering HERE. The specter of tapering off prescription opioids may be fraught with anxiety for the people taking them. Patients often worry about how they will manage the difficulty of the taper process. Patients also often mistakenly believe they will have more pain without opioids because they may have experienced more pain when they missed a dose and had withdrawal symptoms. With the right formula and plan, tapering can go smoothly [...]
I was honored to be interviewed by Pain Pathways Magazine about Less Pain, Fewer Pills: Avoid the dangers of prescription opioids and gain control over chronic pain (Bull Publishing). Though Less Pain, Fewer Pills published almost 2 years ago, today it is more relevant than ever. In a climate of opioid restrictions, people with pain need alternatives. And, even if opioids are part of your medical plan, the book teaches you ways to reduce their own pain [...]
You may wonder what role psychology plays in the field of medicine, and pain medicine in particular. In fact, psychologists have much to offer. This article provides a partial list of the hows and whys.