The presence of pain does NOT mean “Narcopenia”

There is an epidemic of opioid addiction in this country like we have never seen before with enormous economic and social impacts.  Many addicts began their addiction by using legitimate narcotics prescribed by health caregivers for legitimate medical indications.  Physicians have been trained over the years that narcotics are a fundamental component of pain relief, especially in the hospital and surgical setting.  Pain management is best accomplished by using a multi-modal approach to the pain involving non-narcotic medications. These agents should be considered first prior to prescribing narcotics.   Managing pain is very important to all patients as almost every patient in the hospital will experience pain of some sort.  But pain management is also important for the hospital.  Pain indicators have become a fundamental component of the pay for performance methodologies and are a huge predictor of the overall satisfaction scores.  Given the enormous importance of pain management, how can we better manage pain– especially when pain is anticipated such as in the postoperative period?  How do we educate caregivers and patients about a culture change from “no pain” to “managing pain”?   What other modalities should be considered in a pain management program?  Dr. Berkowitz will give national examples of pain management programs and the best way to change the culture in your organization to promote the optimal management of pain.


  • Discuss the evolution of addiction in the United States and how the health care field has played a role
  • Discuss how to change the culture of pain treatment from pain elimination to pain management
  • Review medical models of multi-modal pain analgesia and how they can be implemented in your hospital
  • Review other modalities for pain management other than pharmacological treatment
  • Debunk the concept of “the presence of pain means narcopenia”