What We Do
A Cultural Transformation
In June 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published Relieving Pain in America. It labeled pain a major public health crisis and established as its highest priority development of a national population health plan to address it. Pain advocates believed that such a plan would bring much needed attention to chronic pain. At the same time, a committed group of leaders came together and created the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS). This group believed that by working together, they could establish chronic pain as a public health priority and serve as a catalyst for transforming pain in the U.S. by promoting the vision set forth in the IOM report.
In March 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the National Pain Strategy (NPS). The NPS advanced all the recommendations made by the IOM committee and the notion that underpinned Relieving Pain, i.e., a “cultural transformation in the way pain is perceived, judged and treated” is needed.
The Opioid Conundrum
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared that there is an opioid epidemic. There are serious problems with opioid drugs, as well as questions about their long-term effectiveness. However, when used as prescribed, and appropriately monitored, these medications can be safe and effective and are essential for some chronic pain patients. Clarifying the relationship between chronic pain and the opioid epidemic is essential to addressing both public health issues.