By Barbara Thompson, Executive Director, NCADD Sacramento

Addiction-free pain management is a topic of growing interest as the health services industry is made aware of the special needs of the addiction population.

Dr. Stephen Grinstead, while addressing the NCADD Sacramento Leading Edge Luncheon, clearly pointed out how addicts need to be treated for pain during the recovery process.  Relapse is inevitable if pain management includes opiate-type medications such as OxyContin, and this needs to be emphasized with the treatment community.

Medical providers also need to better understand the effects of opiate-based pain killers, which were not meant to be used over the long-term to manage pain.  These drugs will eventually create phantom pain for the user, also contributing to relapse and depression.

Dr. Grinstead cited case studies where addiction-free pain management successfully treated addicts during detoxification, and for coexisting disorders.  He highlighted some of the alternatives such as non-addictive medications, holistic treatments and biofeedback. In addition to medication management, he mentioned the importance of teaching nonpharmacological chronic pain management skills.

Working with chronic pain management addictive disorders, relapse prevention therapy, and Addiction-Free Pain Management for over 28 years qualified him to author a book titled “Freedom from Suffering: A Journey of Hope”. He has also lived with his own chronic pain for almost 30 years.

Dr. Grinstead is currently the Clinical Director of Training & Consultation for the Gorski-CENAPS Corporation and Owner of Grinstead Consultation, Training & Coaching Services.  He specializes in training clinicians and provides consultation for addiction and coexisting personality and mental health problems. He is an internationally recognized expert in preventing relapse related to chronic pain disorders and is the developer of the Addiction-Free Pain Management System.

NCADD Sacramento was very appreciative of Dr. Grinstead’s presentation and we intend to share this research with health care providers throughout the Sacramento region.