24 Sep
Maine Program Prescribes Pain Management Instead of Drugs Maine Program Prescribes Pain Management Instead of Drugs

Maine Program Prescribes Pain Management Instead of Drugs

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More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, making it a more prevalent condition than diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cancer. Finding relief can be difficult, with too many sufferers becoming addicted to prescription painkillers as a result.

But a new law in Maine may be a model that other states should consider. After a surge in opioid deaths in the state, lawmakers have cracked down on the medical profession, making it more difficult for patients to get access to unlimited amounts of opioid medication.

The new law is leading to creative pain management strategies in the state. At Portland’s Mercy Hospital, patients use a combination of meditation, exercise therapy, group discussions, lectures, and other techniques to manage pain. The program’s teacher, Dr. Stephen Hull, points out that opioids have not been proven to help relieve chronic pain but his program is reporting positive results. Of the 220 students who have graduated since the program’s inception, half of those who were taking opioids at the start of the program have quit. Twenty-five percent have dramatically reduced the amount of opioids they take.

Dr. Hull believes that his approach to pain management could be replicated in hospitals across the state. Currently, it is the only such program in Maine and experts estimate there are less than 100 similar programs in the entire country.

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Read 1367 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 September 2016 13:14
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on,, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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