Everybody Hurts: Intersecting and Colliding Epidemics and the Need for Integrated Behavioral Treatment of Chronic Pain and Substance Use
Chronic pain and substance use disorders (SUDs) are common and debilitating, and they often persist over the longer term. Each represents a significant health problem: It’s estimated that a substantial proportion of the adult population has chronic pain or an SUD, and their co-occurrence is increasing. Research is unraveling the mechanisms of chronic pain and substance use, as well as their co-occurrence; among other things, integrated behavioral treatment options based on acceptance- and mindfulness-based approaches are increasingly being developed and tested; government agencies are devoting more funds and resources to research on chronic pain and SUD; and there have been growing efforts in training, dissemination, and implementation of evidence-based treatments. This conversation explores why it is helpful and important to treat chronic pain and substance use disorders simultaneously rather than separately. Dr. Teresa Treat, Professor of Psychology at University of Iowa, interviews author Katie Witkiewitz, a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico and director of the Center on Alcohol, Substance Use, and Addictions.
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