Chronic pain and addictive disorders present significant public health problems. Both are underdiagnosed and undertreated. Complementary and alternative health care providers frequently encounter patients who suffer from pain and need to be aware of the potential for addiction in this population. These health care providers should play a role in screening, brief management, or recommending appropriate referral for patients with substance abuse problems. It is important for health care providers to be aware of barriers to screening and to understand that addiction is a treatable disease. Complementary and alternative health care providers should have knowledge of addiction resources, understand the process of screening, and should be able to recognize addiction and help direct patients to programs that can meet their treatment needs.
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