Workshop –  July 17, 2018: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Team Pain Care: How Integrative Pain Management Helps Address the Opioid Misuse and Overdose Epidemics

The United States is confronting an epidemic of opioid misuse and overdose. Solving this problem is challenging because it represents the intersection of three extremely complex and equally challenging public health issues, namely, inadequately treated chronic pain, opioid use disorders, and mental health conditions other than opioid use disorders. Given the complexity of these three issues, implementing simplistic solutions for them is likely to produce a sort of “zero-sum game” in which one or two problems are exacerbated by efforts to remediate the other problem(s).

The search for solutions that help resolve all three problems without creating negative unintended consequences starts with the recognition that these three public health issues are remarkably similar in several respects, especially the fact that they are best conceptualized with a biopsychosocial model and best treated with an interdisciplinary, multimodal treatment approach, often referred to as an integrated, or integrative, model of care.

This workshop will outline the conceptual framework that supports such an approach to resolving these issues, with references to published literature that examines their overlap among people who misuse prescription opioids and who are more likely to overdose. The integrative model of care will be examined, and treatment guidelines from both governmental and non-governmental agencies that emphasize the need for this treatment model will be reviewed.

Evidence regarding specific effective treatments for these issues will be reviewed, and methods of combining these treatments to create a unique care plan for each patient will be discussed. Studies of the effectiveness of this approach will be presented, and participants will be encouraged to brainstorm ways in which they can implement such a program in their home institutions.


Robert Twillman

Executive Director

Academy of Integrative Pain Management


About the Speaker:

Bob Twillman, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management (formerly the American Academy of Pain Management). In that capacity, Dr. Twillman is responsible for guiding the organization in its efforts to promote an integrative approach to managing pain. He formerly served the Academy for four years as its Director of Policy and Advocacy. Dr. Twillman received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of California in Los Angeles and maintains a volunteer faculty appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, KS. Prior to working for the Academy, Dr. Twillman was a full-time faculty member at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he founded and directed the inpatient pain management program and was a co-founder of the hospital’s Palliative Care Team. Dr. Twillman also served for many years as Chair of the Prescription Monitoring Program Advisory Committee for the Kansas Board of Pharmacy.

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