Our Philosophy on Using Controlled Substances for Pain Management

For Patient Information and Education

At interveneMD we specialize in the management of pain, primarily through the use of X-ray guided injection procedures.  Our main goals are to reduce pain and improve function through the use of injection procedures, physical therapy, and psychological intervention when appropriate.  This document will explain our philosophy regarding the use of controlled substances (sometimes called “narcotics” or “pain medications”) to treat pain.

Like many pain clinics, we sometimes prescribe controlled substances to assist patients in their treatment program, based on individual needs and a legitimate medical purpose for these medications.  While we recognize controlled substances play a role in managing chronic pain conditions, we believe that we can usually find more effective alternatives for our patients.  Consequently, we believe that a patient’s use of controlled substances on a long-term basis is a treatment of last resort and only for those patients who have failed all other treatments.  If we believe you are a candidate for the long-term use of controlled substances, we may either make medication recommendations to your primary physician or, in rare circumstances, prescribe them to you within our Chronic Pain Opioid Program.  This program provides a fairly rigid structure which includes, among other requirements:

  • monthly medical evaluations, including appropriate physical examinations and diagnostic screening;
  • requirements to participate in physical therapy and/or psychological counseling if we prescribe them;
  • adherence to a medication contract which includes agreeing to random urine drug screens.

When you arrive at interveneMD, we will take a thorough patient history, perform a complete physical examination, and then make recommendations for treatment.  If you are not interested in exploring alternatives to controlled substances for pain management, we may recommend that you seek medical care elsewhere.  Even if you have tried various treatments including injections at other pain clinics, we usually recommend trying again in our clinic with our specialists and equipment.  Prior treatments may have been ineffective for a variety of reasons and similar treatments provided by our expert practitioners may prove helpful and allow you to reduce or discontinue your reliance on controlled substances.

interveneMD providers may or may not agree to prescribe controlled substances to you during your first visit.  If we choose to continue prescribing some or all of your reported medications, we will only do so on a limited basis for a short period of time.  During this time, part of our treatment plan may require that you get evaluation by physical therapists and pain psychologists in order to gather further information about your pain.  If you do not follow through with our recommended treatment plan, we may decide to stop prescribing your controlled substances.

Please understand that as medical professionals, we have an ethical responsibility to provide you with what we consider to be appropriate medical care in keeping with the philosophy and principles we have established for our medical practice.  If you do not agree with our philosophy or our approach to pain management, please let us know and we will try to help you find another pain clinic to treat your pain.

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