The combination of pain and addiction challenges both the medical and legal systems. Treatment is complex, expensive and entangled with conflicting social norms about drug use and personal responsibility. Overdose and illegal diversion of prescription pain medication is a leading cause of accident death. Many suffer from undertreatment of pain. Chronic, non-cancerous pain is frequently comorbid with multiple physical and mental illnesses, causing and resulting from disfunctional family relationships and financial stresses.
This section of the website will go into the meanings of “addiction” and its relationship to the Buddhist term “attachment.” It will address causes, types and responses to addiction. It will explore the public health issue of treatment of people who have complex conditions combining pain, addiction and multiple illnesses, including Dr. Kimber Rotchford’s role in this public policy question.
Dr. Rotchford’s relevant publications are here: