Washington (AP) -- Scientists are hunting for new ways to help millions of pain sufferers. The ideas range from addiction-resistant narcotics to using brain scanners for biofeedback.
There's concern in the medical community about a rise in abuse of today's top prescription painkillers.
The good news: only a tiny fraction of patients who are appropriately prescribed drugs known as opioids, including morphine, vicodin, fentanyl and oxycontin, ever will become dependent on them. And scientists say those few who are vulnerable tend also to suffer such psychiatric disorders as depression and anxiety, giving doctors a clue about which patients need closer monitoring.
Some form of chronic pain affects one of every three or four adults worldwide. The government says one in ten Americans suffers pain that lasts a year or more.
Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.