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Some Assembly Required: A Balanced Approach to Recovery from Addiction and Chronic Pain

By themselves, addiction and chronic pain can be debilitating. When combined, they comprise extremely complicated co-occurring conditions that impact every facet of life. This unique volume addresses the twin challenges of addiction and chronic pain, and presents a model for successful recovery from both of these serious, life-altering conditions.

According to estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined, and 25 percent of the U.S. population is affected by chronic pain. Prescription drug abuse is by far the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States, and abuse of and addiction to the opioid medications prescribed for pain (the so-called painkillers) is at the forefront of this trend. As a result, there is an increasing need for information on the pernicious relationship between addiction and chronic pain among the general public, as well as behavioral health, addiction treatment, healthcare professionals. The narrative integrates the author’s personal and professional experience to illustrate how twelve-step recovery can be combined with mindfulness-based practices, as well as western psychological theory and psychotherapeutic approaches. Some Assembly Required is part memoir, part self-help guidebook, and part clinical-psychoeducational exposition on addiction and chronic pain, that provides a multi-dimensional framework for recovery from these life-altering co-occurring disorders.

Dan Mager, MSW, is a writer and editor in long-term recovery.

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