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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Sep 2020 - 18 Sep 2020


2020 Sep

Am Psychol



Editor's Pick

Psychology’s role in addressing the dual crises of chronic pain and opioid-related harms: Introduction to the special issue.


Chronic pain is considered a public health crisis due to its high prevalence, impact, costs, and disparities in pain prevalence and treatment. In parallel, drug overdose, particularly due to opioids, has become an epidemic in the United States, prompting a public health crisis concerning harms associated with both prescribed opioid therapy for chronic pain and illicit opioid use. The purpose of this special issue is to highlight state-of-the-art psychological research that addresses the combined issues of chronic pain and harms associated with opioids. Articles included in this special issue focus on 2 related areas. The 1st set of innovative articles focuses on risk factors for chronic pain, characterization of patterns of opioid use and misuse, assessment of opioid risk, and identification of moderating factors in populations ranging from adolescents to older adults. The 2nd set of articles includes exemplary research on psychological approaches for management of chronic pain and opioid risk mitigation; integration of psychological approaches in patient-centered, evidence-based, multimodal and interdisciplinary plans of pain care; and treatment of co-occurring chronic pain and opioid use disorder. Last, the issue includes a guest editorial highlighting psychological research and the participation of psychologists in the National Institutes of Health's Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) initiative. In this introduction, the guest editors highlight the objectives in this special issue are to stimulate additional research to develop psychological approaches to reduce opioid misuse behaviors, to help educate providers on opioid prescribing that is equitable and minimizes risk of harms, and to address co-occurring chronic pain and opioid use disorder in vulnerable populations. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).