If you are being treated for chronic pain by a physician, you may be asked to sign a pain management contract. Usually, a pain management contract is created in cases where the doctor is regularly prescribing narcotic drugs, typically those in the opioid family. Below, you can read more about exactly what a pain management contract is, and how it works.
Details of the Pain Management Contract
The details of the pain management contract may vary by doctor, but a few points are common. They are usually agreements to:
- see only the doctor with whom you are signing the contract to procure narcotics
- take all medication as directed
- not sell medicine to others, or to give medicine to anyone else
- submit to drug tests at the doctor's discretion
- use a single pharmacy for filling prescriptions
Drugs Included in the Contracts
The drugs that are typically included in pain management contracts may include Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, and Demerol. All of these drugs are prescription only, and are usually reserved for use in cases of moderate to severe pain.
The Purpose of Pain Management Contracts
Pain management contracts are designed to help people who truly need these medications to get them in a safe way. These contracts are also designed to prevent people who are merely trying to procure the drugs for illicit use or for resale from being able to do so.
Another main reason for the creation of pain management contracts is the prevention of "doctor shopping." It is not unusual for some patients to seek out narcotic medications from more than one physician, especially following a surgery. Because the prescribing physicians are unaware that the patient has already been given narcotic painkillers from another physician, the patient can end up with far more narcotics than would be safe.
The pain management contract will typically make it very clear that if you violate the terms of the contract in any way, you will immediately lose your ability to get further prescriptions from the doctor who created the contract.
The doctor is allowed to terminate the contract at any time if they suspect the patient is using the drugs in an improper way, or if they suspect the patient may be doctor shopping. Similarly, the patient can terminate the contract whenever they wish.
If you are struggling with chronic pain, and you need to use narcotic medication regularly, this type of contract may be the answer. It allows you to be closely monitored by your personal physician so that you can take this very potent medication in the safest possible way. For more information, contact resources such as Pain Treatment Center.