It is not uncommon for a person to be challenged by both chronic pain and a substance use disorder. In fact, it is all too common.

In June of 2011, the Institute of Medicine stated the cost of chronic pain management in the United States alone today is over $635 Billion per year in direct medical costs and lost productivity.

Fortunately, because of the work of Dr. Stephen F. Grinstead and Ellen Gruber-Grinstead, resources are available to understand how to manage pain without resorting to self-medication through addictive substances.

NCADD-Sacramento was honored to recognize Stephen and Ellen Grinstead at their 2014 Annual Awards Dinner, presenting the dynamic couple with the coveted Bernie Breining Award for Visionary Leadership.   Like Mr. Breining, the winner must have demonstrated a capacity to bring innovative approaches to the AOD field and have consistently demonstrated leadership, accomplishment and encouragement of recovery in the community.

In accepting this award, Dr. Grinstead recalled the influence of  Bernie Breining in his career, having graduated from the Breining Institute with a Doctorate in Addictive Disorders (Dr.AD).

Stephen and Ellen co-authored “Freedom from Suffering: A Journey of Hope,”  a guide book to effectively deal with chronic pain.  Written in a conversational and informational format, Freedom from Suffering starts by preparing the reader for the journey to address chronic pain management. It then offers seven steps that have helped Dr. Grinstead and thousands of patients in managing pain while improving the quality of their lives.

Ellen & Stephen Grinstead received the Bernie Breining Visionary Leadership Award

Ellen & Stephen Grinstead received the Bernie Breining Visionary Leadership Award from NCADD-Sacramento Exec. Dir. Barbara Thompson

Grinstead collaborated with Terence T. Gorski and the Gorski-CENAPS® Corporation to develop the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Treatment System and address the challenges for clinicians and treatment programs to help patients manage a chronic pain condition. He also developed and presented several other addiction-related trainings including: HIV/AIDS and Chemical Dependency; Domestic Violence and Chemical Dependency; and Recovery & Relapse Prevention for Eating Addiction.

Ellen Grinstead is a Certified Empowerment Coach (CEC) and works with Professional Women in Recovery who are seeking balance, focus and action in every area of their life.  She also is the editor for all of Stephen’s Addiction-Free Pain Management® books and articles.

According to a study cited by the National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, 19 percent of Americans suffer from chronic pain. Study author Jae Kennedy of Washington State University in Spokane said narcotic painkillers such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine can be helpful in treating chronic pain, but only on a short-term basis. “We are clearly overusing opioids [narcotics],” he told HealthDay. “The U.S. consumes about 80 percent of the world’s opioid supply, and 99 percent of the hydrocodone supply. These medications are effective in the short term, [such as] for managing postoperative pain, but long-term use often leads to dependency or addiction.”

NCADD-Sacramento is pleased to highlight the work of Stephen and Ellen Grinstead, and we encourage you to read more about their work on their website.