CDC Recommends Behavioral Treatment for Chronic Pain

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently launched a call for the use of behavioral treatments for managing chronic pain instead of, or in addition to, opioid treatments.

According to CDC’s “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain,” there is little evidence of long-term benefits of opioids for managing chronic pain (i.e. pain lasting more than 3 months). But the CDC points to research showing that cognitive behavioral therapy, mental health counseling, or even a combination of these with nonopioid treatments (e.g. acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy) as effective ways to decrease the risk of opioid co-dependence and potential death. These guidelines, along with the Surgeon General’s recent landmark report on substance use disorders, come at a time of growing concern over the alarmingly high rates of prescribed and illicit opioid abuse in the United States, often resulting in fatal overdoses.

The CDC and Surgeon General’s actions are a promising boost for clinical psychological scientists who help patients manage chronic pain. As APS reported in a November 2015 article in the Observer, psychological researchers have been piloting studies that involve interventions ranging from placebos to virtual-reality technology to leverage the power of perception to muffle pain.


Again all people are impacted by the behavior of a few. The restrictions being imposed on all MD’s
Is an unfair restriction on all- infringing on the Doctor/patient relationship-using the surgeon general as a bully pulpit- Perhaps providing required education on opioids addiction-which most MD’sknow very little about!

It seems as if medicine has gone from one extreme to another. I believe opiates have a place with pain. I also believe a pill no matter how strong is not the total answer to pain relief. Acupunture , mindfulness , massage Reiki all came be helpful Reducing weight and inflammation also . These aren’t quick fixes, not 25 minute chargeable visits..,

having suffered chronic back pain for several years I do not see how removing opiate use and replacing it with therapy ( which I did use ) and aspirin is going to work. The pendulum swings again from treatment to punishment. so few harm so many

What we have here is a long term misinformation campaign. They continue to justify these lies, nonsense and alternative facts with the belief that they are “helping.”
There is virtually no science applied here, instead they are redefining the use of Qualitative and Quantitative data. These words have become interchangeable in the psychological community and the mass media content marketing that repeats this nonsense. The Facts tell us that rate of mental illness, drug addiction, and suicides are rising, while people with serious legitimate pain are no longer treated. These so called scientists continue to stigmatize people with pain, which is leading to suicides. The conflated chronic pain with addiction, while people died or were denied medical treatment.
If we look around the US and ask where is the empathy, common sense, or even basic human decency, we can see it is long gone. Clever psychologists with the help of social media marketers, propagandists, and ignorant journalists, have redefined science.
Pain is the number one reason people seek medical care. Thanks to these clever manipulators, we can all ignore the facts, and enrich ourselves in the process.
Start asking who benefits, and we can see that these psychologists are benefiting financially, while they help insurance companies, an unaccountable medical industry, and Pharma.
There are two levels here, one for the comfortable, who have access to good healthcare, and then everyone else. Psychologists came up with a clever counter narrative about pain, one where for most of us is can be ignored, while they Gas Light the sick or injured.
We have not seen any “research’ on how dark and manipulative, Gas Lighting the public on this issue has been. They did no research on the number of deaths by Suicide, by people with chronic health conditions and pain. Psychologists are justifying the slow Genocide of thousands of Americans. Even though the Facts tell us that not very many people with long term Intractable Chronic Pain are drug addicts, funds and media coverage are poured into research, that states otherwise.

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.