Drug and Alcohol Abuse Linked to Self-Medicating Chronic Pain

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Linked to Self-Medicating Chronic Pain
Many people who abuse drugs or alcohol are self-medicating chronic pain, a new study suggests. Researchers at Boston University studied 589 people who fit the criteria for drug abuse or illicit drug use, and found 87 percent reported chronic pain. Of the 576 patients who used illicit drugs (marijuana, cocaine and/or heroin), 51 percent reported using drugs to treat pain. The study found 81 percent of the 121 people who said they misused prescription opioid painkillers reported they did so to treat their pain. Of the 265 patients who reported any amount of heavy drinking in the past three months, 38 percent said they were self-medicating chronic pain. The researchers found 79 percent of patients determined to be high-risk drinkers were self-medicating, according to Medical Daily. The results appear in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. “While the association between chronic pain and drug addiction has been observed in prior studies,...
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SPOTLIGHT: Santa Barbara’s Drug Court Programs

SPOTLIGHT: Santa Barbara’s Drug Court Programs
The Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, NCADD’s Santa Barbara Affiliate, offers drug court programs as alternatives to incarceration. One of these programs, the Clean and Sober Court, was developed in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Police Department to provide nonviolent misdemeanor or felony offenders who plead guilty to their crime a chance to receive alcohol and drug treatment rather than face incarceration. The program offers a non-adversarial courtroom atmosphere where a single judge and a dedicated team of court officers and staff work together to break the cycle of drug abuse and criminal behavior. After an initial "dryout" in jail, clients are referred to an outpatient or residential treatment program, and/or a sober living facility. Adult offenders with felonies or misdemeanors participate in a minimum of six months of treatment. The outpatient treatment program is provided at Project Recovery, a comprehensive adult treatment center housing a variety of outpatient treatment...
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