Objective and Methods: We surveyed 293 individuals seeking methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for opioid dependence about pain, pain treatment utilization, perceived efficacy of prior pain treatment, and interest in pursuing pain treatment while in MMT.
Results: Among the 213 respondents reporting recent pain of at least moderate typical pain intensity, those with and those without a lifetime history of chronic pain endorsed similar rates of conventional (with the exception of past-week medical use of nonopiate medication), complementary, and alternative medicine utilization for pain reduction and a numerically smaller proportion endorsed last-week utilization of complementary and alternative medicine when compared with conventional medicine. The most frequently endorsed lifetime conventional pain treatments included opiate and over-the-counter medications, whereas the most frequently endorsed lifetime complementary and alternative medicine pain treatments included stretching, physical exercise, physical therapy, heat therapy, and prayer. Perceived efficacy of prior pain treatment but not interest in pain treatment was associated with chronic pain history status.
Conclusion: These findings may have implications for resource and program planning in MMT programs.