Pain Resources & Tools
Whether you need guidance for connecting with your patients, guidelines for managing their pain, or strategies for helping to prevent medication misuse or manipulation, you will find a range of tools here that will help you navigate treatment planning for patients living with pain.Tools for Talking to Patients Pain Management Guidelines Opioid Use & Misuse Guidance Treatment Planning Resources
Risk reduction strategies for responsible pain management
When it comes to pain management, it’s important to stay informed of guidelines and practices.
Watch this video to learn about 3 risk reduction strategies, including prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), urine drug testing, and tapering of opioid medication, all of which—along with other universal precautions—are critically important for responsible pain management
Develop Deeper Dialogues With Your Patients
Help patients understand the differences: Tolerance, dependence, & addiction1
Finding a way to talk to patients about the distinctions between tolerance, dependence, and addiction is important but challenging. Explaining what happens in the central nervous system that can lead to substance abuse might be too complicated for patients to understand.
Breaking down tolerance, dependence, and addiction in simple terms will lead to better comprehension and prevention:
- Tolerance—A person taking a medication begins to have a diminished response to medication, requiring more of it to have the same effect
- Dependence—The body of a person taking a medication adapts its normal function to be reliant on the medication. At this point, withdrawal will cause symptoms that produce discomfort
- Addiction—Addiction usually occurs after tolerance and dependence, making discontinuing the medication difficult and raising the risks of withdrawal symptoms. Signs of addiction include:
- Unsuccessful efforts to control or reduce medication use
- Difficulties in socialization and meeting obligations in the workplace and/or at home
Stigma of Pain
This fact sheet provides statistics on both pain and substance abuse that will help you better understand the stigma associated with both. You will also discover the barriers to treatment and mental health risks that come with pain, helping you to be a more empathetic and responsive clinician.
The fact sheet is available through the US Department of Health and Human Services.
You Have Options (pain management for patients)
Download and share this colorful and illustrative guide that shows pain management approaches and best practices for patients that don’t involve taking medication. It can be used as a poster by clinicians and patients alike.
The PDF was created from a collaboration between the North Carolina Wellness Foundation, the Hill Country Health and Wellness Center, and the UC Davis Center for Design.
Explain Pain (for patients)
Download and share this leaflet with your patients. Available through the US Department of Veterans Affairs website, the leaflet helps identify the emotions you may feel when you have pain and how you can cope with them. The leaflet also gives you a better understanding of the pain itself.
Opioid Patient Prescriber Agreement
As part of its Safe Use Initiative, the FDA has designed this tool to help create an open conversation between the patient and the prescriber about the benefits, risks, and limitations of opioid medicines. Use it as a decision-making tool before an opioid medicine is prescribed for acute or persistent pain and to ensure the appropriate and safe use of opioid medicines.
Pain Management Guidelines
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) Pain
AAPM guidelines are intended as educational tools for healthcare providers and are based on clinical expertise and a review of the relevant literature by diverse groups of highly trained clinicians. This site includes a collection of the most up-to-date guidelines and consensus recommendations.*Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. has previously provided funding to this organization. However, Collegium does not influence or control the contents and information on its website which is being provided here for informational purposes only. Go to AAPM Guidelines >
CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids
for Chronic Pain
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed these guidelines to improve communication between providers and patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy, including opioid use disorder and overdose.CDC Prescribing Opioids Guidelines PDF >
Practice Guidelines for Chronic Pain Management:
An Updated Report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
Practice guidelines were developed by an ASA task force to optimize pain control; enhance functional abilities and physical and psychological well-being; enhance patient quality of life; and minimize adverse outcomes.CDC Prescribing Opioids Update >
Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians (ACP)
Using the ACP grading system, the committee based these recommendations on a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials and systematic reviews published through April 2015 on noninvasive pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments for low back pain.Go to Guidelines >
US Department of Veterans Affairs: Opioid Taper
This tool assists primary care providers in determining if an opioid taper is necessary for a specific patient, and provides guidance on performing the taper, along with follow-up and support during the taper.Opioid Taper Decision Tool PDF >
Opioid Use and Misuse
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Articles on addressing the current opioid environment with information on getting help, current topics, letters and toolkits, public health efforts, and programs and campaigns.Visit SAMHSA >
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Safe Opioid Prescribing
Overview of best practices for prescribing opioids—plus links to additional tools and resources.Safe Opioid Prescribing >
American Medical Association (AMA): Promote Safe Storage and Disposal of Opioids and All Medications
Resource that addresses the risks of prescription opioids and other medications if they are not taken as prescribed, with steps needed to ensure safe storage and disposal of expired, unwanted, or unused medications.AMA Opioid Disposal PDF >
NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Website dedicated to pain management. Includes research, the latest science, trends and statistics, and resources for researchers, medical professionals, patients, parents, and children. Includes links to other NIDA sites and social media.Visit NIDA >
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM):
Tools for Practice*
Helpful resources for physicians to assist practicing pain physicians treat their patients with pain.*Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. has previously provided funding to this organization. However, Collegium does not influence or control the contents and information on its website which is being provided here for informational purposes only. Go to AAPM Pain Tools >
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP):
Chronic Pain Management Toolkit
Toolkit designed to help family physicians identify gaps in practice flow, standardize evaluation and treatment of patients with chronic pain, and facilitate conversations surrounding pain and treatment goals, as well as identify and mitigate risk.AAFP Pain Toolkit PDF>
Resources for Developing a Treatment Plan
Read selected articles for professionals who manage pain.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: The Rules
for Opioid Prescribing in 2018
NIH NCCIH: Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative
Health: What’s in a Name?
HHS Overdose Prevention Fact Sheet
The fact sheet provides a summary of how various government agencies are addressing potential misuse, abuse, and prevention following the release of the HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy.Overdose Prevention Fact Sheet >
International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Integrative Pain Management Fact Sheet
How are research studies building an "evidence base" for managing pain care with integrative approaches? This fact sheet examines the research methods used and why external and internal validities are important.Integrative Care PDF >