- Written by News in Health, National Institutes of Health
- Published: 03 January 2019
Part 3: Expanding the options
The alternatives to opioids we have now don’t work for everyone’s pain. More non-opioid, non-addictive treatment options could help reduce the number of opioids prescribed each year.
Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative to address the shortage of effective medications for chronic pain and other issues contributing to the opioid crisis.Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the
Some of the research funded by HEAL will focus on understanding how chronic pain develops. A better understanding of how acute pain becomes chronic could reveal new treatment targets.
Researchers funded by HEAL also hope to learn how to predict who will develop chronic pain from acute pain. This information could be used to guide early pain management, Oshinsky explains. HEAL will fund research into new treatments for opioid misuse and addiction as well.
More options for pain management could help doctors better personalize pain treatment. “It could be a little more like precision medicine, where you try to identify what flavor of pain the patient has, and then match the treatments we have available to the needs of that patient,” explains Dr. David Williams, an NIH-funded pain researcher at the University of Michigan.
Article adapted from the NIH October 2018 News in Health.