Freedom From Suffering with Dr. Steven Grinstead




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Sacramento, CA 95834

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When Dr. Grinstead started researching the problem of chronic pain and coexisting addictive disorders, including prescription drug abuse or prescription drug addiction, over 30 years ago he found an incredible amount of publications and research on addiction treatment, and a lot of information on chronic pain management, but not ANY information—publications or research—pertaining to treating someone with both conditions.

Fortunately, that is not the case today. In fact there is so much information it takes a significant amount of time to go through it and seek out the quality sources. Our goal here is to update this page as often as possible to provide a synopsis of news stories and research or publications that are related to chronic pain and prescription drug addiction treatment. Dr. Grinstead will also be posting interesting news and research updates frequently on his blog.


November 2014

Mistaken Beliefs About Fibromyalgia

Over the past three decades people who experienced pain symptoms in multiple areas of the body that did not correlate with X-Ray, MRI or CT-Scan procedures were met with skepticism by the medical establishment. Many were either accused of “faking” their symptoms, or diagnosed with a Somatization Disorder which basically states . . . 


September 2014

Long-Term Opioid Use Can Increase Sensitivity to Chronic Pain

Many people who have been taking opiates for chronic pain can develop serious problems with long-term use. Some of them may even include an addictive disorder due to prolonged exposure to these very powerful medications. Others develop tolerance to the medication and need ever increasing dose increases. Others develop a condition known as hyperalgesia.


July 2012

The Use of Spinal Cord Stimulation for Chronic Pain Management

As an intervention for chronic back and/or leg pain, spinal cord stimulation can be an effective alternative or adjunct treatment to other interventions that have failed to manage pain on their own. Spinal cord stimulation alleviates pain by electrically activating pain-inhibiting neuronal circuits in the dorsal horn and inducing a tingling sensation (paresthesia) that masks the sensations of pain.


April 2014:

The Role of Acupuncture In Chronic Pain Management

Over the past few years there has been a significant amount of controversy regarding challenges around the treatment of chronic pain conditions. One of the hot topics is the use of opiate pain medication. Since opiates, as well as other medications, can lead to problems like tolerance building, medication side effects, opioid-induced hyperalgesia and even addition, implementing other types of treatment interventions is crucial. One of the nonpharmacological approaches I have experienced success with both personally and professionally is acupuncture. This month I want to focus on what some of the research is saying about acupuncture as a pain management intervention.


March 2014:

what do you think about the new "Super hydrocodone" drug zohydro?

This month one of the big controversies I’m seeing is the upcoming release of Zohydro by the FDA—this new medication can contain as much as 10 times the amount of the drug hydrocodone as other painkillers such as Vicodin or Lortab.


February 2014:

Should More Be Done To Protect People From Opioid Overdose Deaths?

This month I’m posing the above question and will share some thoughts as I answered it for myself. There seems to be a great debate about this; especially if the overdose is due to recreational or addictive use of the drug. I believe that overdose deaths are a public health problem—not a criminal justice or morals problem. We need to work together and do more to save lives.


January 2014:

The Need for Non-opioid Medications in Effective Chronic Pain Management

Let me start out by saying that I am not anti-medication for pain management. However, I do believe that each patient needs to be assessed to determine if it is the right medication for that person and their condition. For example if someone is in recovery from an addictive disorder, many of the pain medications often prescribed can lead to a serious relapse.


December 2013:


I’ve chosen this report as the first for our new Freedom From Suffering NOW site because it’s a topic so near and dear to me. For a couple of years now I have been working with healthcare professionals who were mandated to a monitored diversion or probation program because of either abuse or addiction of alcohol or other drugs.


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