Opioid therapy for chronic pancreatitis: Controlling aberrant use through behavioral management

Document Type



Recurrent or continuous abdominal pain is present in approximately 75% of patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP). Although selected patients may benefit from surgical and endoscopic interventions, many experience enduring pain. For this subgroup of patients, CP pain is chronic, intense, and often incapacitating. Analgesic therapy is a mainstay of pancreatic pain management for these patients, and up to 20% of all patients with CP engage in frequent use of opioid derivatives. The following case illustrates the difficulties that can arise from opiate therapy for the management of chronic pancreatic pain, the disruptive effect of aberrant use patterns on the patient and health care providers, and the potential inefficacy of narcotic analgesics for long-term pain management. More importantly, this case illustrates the efficacy of behavioral pain management techniques for chronic pancreatic pain and the reduction and stabilization of opioid consumption.


Chronic pain--Psychological aspects; Drug addiction—Prevention; Mental health counseling; Pain—Treatment


Community-Based Research | Counseling Psychology | Health Psychology | Medicine and Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


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Publisher Citation

Correspondence, General Hospital Psychiatry, Volume 21, Issue 2, March–April 1999, Pages 137-140, ISSN 0163-8343, 10.1016/S0163-8343(99)00002-X.

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