Addictive Disorders and Pain

  • Lynn Webster
  • Stuart Gitlow


People consume opioids for many reasons, some medically beneficial and others harmful to themselves and to society. It is difficult to conclude that opioid use is harmful by evaluating consumption alone. Consider a population of individuals none of whom have been exposed to opioid use. Within that population are those who do not have addictive disease involving opioids; these individuals will not demonstrate signs and symptoms of addiction whether exposed to opioids or not. A smaller group within the population has addictive disease. Some in this group do not know they have addictive disease simply because they have never been exposed to opioids. Phenotypically, then, they do not have addiction despite the underlying physiology. Another group of individuals, however, will show signs of addiction, resulting from medical or nonmedical use of opioids.


Chronic Pain Ventral Tegmental Area Opioid Therapy Addictive Disorder Alcoholic Anonymous 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Technical writing and manuscript review are provided by Beth Dove of Medical Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah.


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Copyright information

© American Academy of Pain Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical ResearchSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Mount Sinai School of MedicineWoonsocketUSA
  3. 3.Mount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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