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Pain and Chemical Dependency

Until recently, the notion that addictive disorders and pain problems could exist in the same patient at the same time was thought to be so uncommon as to not be worth looking for. The thinking was basically, "you could have either one or the other, but not both". Specialists in the areas of pain management and addiction medicine are now coming to realize that patients with very real pain problems can have problems with addiction.

In this regard, the Wasser Pain Centre has committed to taking a leadership role in the assessment and where appropriate, the ongoing management of persons with pain and addiction. At the Wasser Pain Management Centre, we take a balanced and rational view of the use of opiates and other analgesics in the treatment of chronic non-malignant pain.

Not only do persons with addictions history deserve expert assessment and management of their pain problems, they need effective management to ensure success with the treatment of their underlying addictive disorder. In some cases, this may involve the use of substances with recognized abuse potential. Rather than avoiding the use of any particular drug or class of drugs, we have adopted a position of "the proper course of therapy for the right person at the right time". This may mean consultation with, or management by a specialist in pain and addictive disorders as well as the use of special tests to help monitor the patient while on therapy.