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Addiction Behaviors Check List

marirlpnmmarirlpn Posts: 1,028
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Chronic Pain
This is an assessment tool that many pain management clinicians use on their patients. I found this quite interesting.


Best wishes,



  • I find these interesting because seriously how many chronic pain patients wouldn't identify with some of these questions? If getting the meds is the only way out of the pain, of course you're going to be asking about it. And if the pain is terrible, people might consider taking more than prescribed.

    I think the question doctors need to ask themselves before resorting to these questions is "is the patient's pain properly managed?" Because if the answer to that is no, then the other questions are moot.

    Personally, I am addicted to doing things that are hard on my back. I told the doctor straight up that I was not interested in taking less meds, I was interested in having more life. How do they differentiate? Or am I in the "addict" category?

  • This seemed more like a list of eligibility than not, who in pain would not be worried about supply and provision or the implication for both. Yes or No just does not cut it and although we understand that need for some assessment Melzack and Wall et al assessment in Textbook of Pain suggest that only 2% have potential for addiction and this seems a heavy handed approach for the majority.

    I want the medication that works for me in adequate supply to my needs, this would read like a list of lack of care, we here understand the need by some requiring medication for an alternative motive and that has nothing to do with managing pain efficiently effectively or chronic issues.

  • It's important to keep in mind that this tool is not intended to be used as a single assessment. It's intended to track behavior and changes in behavior over time, in the context of a person's ongoing care.

    In the end, determining whether or not the presence of certain indicators indicates a problem comes back to the clinical judgment of the doctor.
  • There's actually far more research behind the assessment than it being a "VA form."
  • I read some of the research on this assessment. It's not a diagnostic assessment, just a screening- many people will answer yes to those questions and not be using narcotics improperly.

    And, indeed, it turns out that it only works if the pain is properly controlled.

    Anyone who is meeting a lot of those characteristics should be closely monitored- but isn't that just true of people who are on long-term opiate therapy? No doctor should be treating chronic severe pain patients without paying very close attention to how the opiates are affecting them.
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