Use of Conventional, Complementary, and Alternative Treatments for Pain Among Individuals Seeking Primary Care Treatment With Buprenorphine-Naloxone

J Addict Med. 2012 Dec;6(4):274-9. doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e31826d1df3.


Previous studies have not examined patterns of pain treatment use among patients seeking office-based buprenorphine-naloxone treatment (BNT) for opioid dependence.

Objectives: To examine, among individuals with pain seeking BNT for opioid dependence, the use of pain treatment modalities, perceived efficacy of prior pain treatment, and interest in pursuing pain treatment while in BNT.

Methods: A total of 244 patients seeking office-based BNT for opioid dependence completed measures of demographics, pain status (ie, "chronic pain (CP)" [pain lasting at least 3 months] vs "some pain (SP)" [pain in the past week not meeting the duration criteria for chronic pain]), pain treatment use, perceived efficacy of prior pain treatment, and interest in receiving pain treatment while in BNT.

Results: In comparison with the SP group (N = 87), the CP group (N = 88) was more likely to report past-week medical use of opioid medication (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.2; 95% CI, 1.2-8.4), lifetime medical use of nonopioid prescribed medication (AOR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1-4.7), and lifetime use of prayer (AOR = 2.8; 95% CI, 1.2-6.5) and was less likely to report lifetime use of yoga (AOR = 0.2; 95% CI, 0.1-0.7) to treat pain. Although the 2 pain groups did not differ on levels of perceived efficacy of prior lifetime pain treatments, in comparison with the SP group, the CP group was more likely to report interest in receiving pain treatment while in BNT (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Individuals with pain seeking BNT for opioid dependence report a wide range of conventional, complementary, and alternative pain-related treatments and are interested (especially those with CP) in receiving pain management services along with BNT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics / adverse effects
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Buprenorphine / adverse effects
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Buprenorphine, Naloxone Drug Combination
  • Chronic Pain / epidemiology
  • Chronic Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naloxone / adverse effects
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Utilization Review


  • Analgesics
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Buprenorphine, Naloxone Drug Combination
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naloxone
  • Buprenorphine