When the rock legend Prince died earlier this year, it was revealed that the performer suffered from opioid addiction. Injuries in the 1980s perhaps led to the prescription drug addiction that would end his life. But there are alternative ways to manage chronic pain, and at Think Health Science: Advances in Pain Management, TPR listeners learned about some of these treatment methods, and got a multifaceted look at the use of opiates to treat pain.
Hear the audio below. TPR News Director Shelley Kofler opens the talk, followed by UTHSCSA President Dr. William Henrich. Accompanying slide shows are also posted at the bottom of this page.
Barbara J. Turner, MD, MSED, MACP, addresses the major impact that chronic pain has in the U.S. and problems with long-term opioid pain medications, offering data from her own studies of a national insured population. She summarizes national initiatives to encourage clinicians and patients to move beyond drugs to increase the use of effective alternatives to control pain through activities like exercises, stretching, partnered massage and practicing mindfulness.
Jennifer Sharpe Potter, Ph.D., M.P.H., discusses two sides of the controversial pain and opioid prescription debate and share her current research on chronic pain, opioid use disorder and access to compassionate pain management.
About the presenters:
Dr. Barbara Turner is a Professor of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center, a practicing general internist and the director of the ReACH Center. ReACH promotes the health of South Texas residents, especially its majority Hispanic population, by bringing together researchers from diverse disciplines and community partners to evaluate quality of care and implement appropriate models of care for optimal health outcomes.
Dr. Jennifer Sharpe Potter is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Anesthesiology (pain medicine) at the UT Health Science Center. With a primary research interest in co-occurring chronic pain and substance use disorders, Dr. Potter's current research - utilizing combined behavioral and medication-based approaches -- focuses on the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders.
Think Health Science is presented by TPR and the University of Texas Health Science Center.