Chronic pain and opiates: balancing pain control and risks in long-term opioid treatment

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Mar;89(3 Suppl 1):S77-82. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2007.12.003.


The risks and benefits of opioid analgesics for chronic pain conditions and diseases are discussed in the context of the concern about the public health problems of poorly managed pain and prescription drug abuse and addiction. New strategies for risk management in treating patients with chronic pain are described. Opioids for chronic pain may be used effectively in the context of clinical strategies for risk management and selectively tailored, biopsychosocial pain management.

Overall article objective: To present the case for balanced use of opioid therapy in the treatment of chronic pain conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Time Factors


  • Analgesics, Opioid