New Year’s is often a time of reflection and self-assessment. For chronic pain patients resolving to end their dependence on addictive prescription pain medications, a new online assessment is available through the Pain Recovery Program (PRP) at Father Martin’s Ashley, a program offering an integrated, multi-modality approach to treating chronic pain and medication dependence.
Developed by a medical doctor, clinical psychologist and licensed mental health counselors specializing in chronic pain, the Prescription Pain Medication Self-Assessment (PPMSA) helps people struggling with long-term use of prescription pain medications recognize symptoms of dependence and seek help.
Through the PPMSA, a person can become aware of their dependence by identifying with one or more of the following scenarios:
Symptoms of dependence to prescription pain medication
- Pre-occupation with the prescribed medication (doses, times, refills);
- Withdrawal symptoms when the prescribed medication isn’t taken (flu-like symptoms, increased pain, anxiety);
- Taking more of the prescribed medication than prescribed, taking in a different way than prescribed (chewing, snorting, IV) and/or taking medication prescribed for someone else;
- Supplementing a prescribed medication with alcohol or illicit substances; and
- Pain and/or function getting worse over time despite taking the prescribed medication.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Vital Signs report, providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012—enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills—and the number of people with dependence on prescription pain medications is skyrocketing.
Pain recovery specialist and manager of the PRP at Father Martin’s Ashley, Scott Dehorty, LCSW-C, said in a statement that the self-assessment was created to help people understand that prescription pain medications were never intended to treat chronic pain, that there are alternative treatments, and also hope.
More information about opioid dependence and pain management will be shared at Addiction Professional Academy, a conference to be held Feb. 2-4 in Anaheim, Calif. For more information, click here.