Pain and Addiction

It is important to understand and emphasize that not all pain patients on medications are addicts. For some, if their pain went away, they would stop the medications. Many have aberrant drug related behaviors as a result of under-treated pain and/or their medications may no longer work for them. As we well know, all too often, pain medications actually have the effect of causing increased pain or hyperalgesia. This under-treated pain and/or pain medications no longer working can result in drug seeking and other behaviors that mimic addiction.

We help the patient and family to differentiate between addiction/abuse and over/self medicating for under-treated pain. This sets the proper course for the individualized treatment plan and medication or detox/titration plan.

We do not simply detox and leave the patient screaming in pain. When pain is not in a tolerable range, it remains a trigger for aberrant drug related behaviors. In understanding Acquired Prescription Drug Behaviors (APDB) it is vital to differentiate addiction versus chronic pain behaviors. We must understand how drug use for the purpose of euphoric effects (getting high) is different than self-medicating the conditions of illness and pain in an attempt to alleviate suffering.

So, at Casa Palmera, we understand pain. We show the patients how to find the pain threshold or baseline, lean alternative ways to deal with their physical and emotional pain, assist in differentiating emotional from physical pain, assist in either detoxifying from the medications and/or creating and finding a medication formula that is manageable and allows the patient to live as functional a life as possible in the least addictive manner possible.

Our program combines traditional medical with behavioral and holistic integrative treatments that include a variant of treatment modalities such as:

Nutrition, acupuncture, massage, process group, individual therapy, psychiatric assessment and follow-up, addiction/abuse education if indicated, pain/addictionologists consult and follow-up, clinical bo/neurofeedback, activities therapy (art, music, etc.), fitness (gym, ropes course), spiritual wellbeing, relaxation/holistic (stress reduction, breathing, yoga, Pilates), lectures and didactic education, medication management, family program. Modalities such as physical therapy, hydrotherapy, and stretching will be ordered as indicated and if so will be part of the treatment plan.

Of course, the 12-Step education and teaching we have for the pain management and addiction/abuse patient is very strong and a solid part of the program. An “all group” model is often the best choice versus just referring to AA, NA, etc. This allows the 12-Steps to apply to pain, addiction, or eating disorders. For those who have struggles with traditional 12-Steps we can offer alternative avenues.

Our providers include but are not limited: MD (psychiatrist, family practice, addictionologist), LAc, CMT, MFT, LCSW, PhD, RNs, NP, Nutritionist, RD, etc.

We provide 24 hour nursing supervision with an individualized treatment approach in a licensed facility, nestled in the sunny coastal community of Del Mar, located in beautiful San Diego, CA. Casa Palmera offers a sanctuary of healing and provides the guidance and education needed to help you begin to rebuild your health, self-esteem, and emotional well-being.