[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Citations 0
January 7, 1998

Pain Management and Chemical Dependency

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(1):17-18. doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.17

To the Editor.—Dr Portenoy and colleagues1call for greater understanding between pain specialists and addictionologists, something with which no one could disagree. More controversial, however, is the implication that opiate analgesics are proper and underused treatments for chronic pain, but that there needs to be an understanding of which patients have, or do not have, addiction liability. While the psychology of addiction is useful in understanding some reports from patients with chronic pain who report that opiates are helpful (comparable to some smokers' satisfaction with their habit), the real issue, with regard to chronic pain, is whether opiates are efficacious in the long run.2