The recent surge in opioid-related deaths has brought poor pain management practices to the forefront of our nation’s collective consciousness. However, improving treatments for chronic pain, substance use disorders (SUD), and comorbid expression of both requires a better understanding of the pathophysiology involved in their development. In this chapter, the authors present the argument that chronic pain and SUD can be conceptualized similarly from a biopsychosocial perspective to inform a better approach to treatment. The authors describe the common neurobehavioral mechanisms of SUD and chronic pain, then discuss the efficacy of several psychotherapeutic methods employed to combat chronic pain, addiction, and related disorders. Such methods may contribute to positive health outcomes in managing chronic pain and curbing drug addiction by reducing the role of opioid analgesics for long-term pain management.
Part of the book: Addictions