by Lesli Hill, PAINS Advisory Committee Volunteer Coordinator
Larry Driver, M.D is a Professor in the Department of Pain Medicine, Division of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX.
He also serves as the chair of the Texas Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council, which is tasked to oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of the statewide palliative care consumer and professional information and education program.
Dr. Driver has spent his entire medical career advocating for the needs of people who have pain, especially those who have post cancer pain.
He enjoys doing rounds with Fellows or those on rotations and shares information with those students about the PAINS Project.
He asked a question worth contemplating. He gave the example of Rush Limbaugh, who developed a prescription addiction because of treatment for severe lower back pain. Driver asks what happened to his pain after he went through drug rehabilitation? Did the pain just go away, did he develop better coping skills, or does he continue to live in pain, just without it managed? What does chronic pain look like to those who used opioids for pain but are now weaned from it?
It is an interesting question worth thoughtful discussion.