“Far from chasing hedonistic highs, people who turn to drugs are often trying to stave away chronic bouts of pain, a study published this month in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests.
The authors analyzed survey data from around 25,000 patients who visited a primary care provider, ultimately focusing on 589 people who fit the criteria for drug abuse or illicit drug use. Of them, 87 percent reported chronic pain, with 74 percent adding that the pain interfered with their ability to function normally. And when asked outright, many of the patients admitted their drug use was an attempt to self-medicate the pain.
“While the association between chronic pain and drug addiction has been observed in prior studies, this study goes one step further to quantify how many of these patients are using these substances specifically to treat chronic pain,” said lead author Dr. Daniel Alford, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University, in a statement. “It also measures the prevalence of chronic pain in patients who screen positive for illegal drug use and prescription drug abuse.”
Source: MedicalDaily.com – May 9, 2016