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Chronic Pain Plus: A New Approach to Managing Pain and Recovery

Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined—as many as 100 million people. Over the last 15 years, opioid therapy has become the standard treatment of choice for persistent pain... but there are often unintended consequences:  health risks, substance use disorders, financial costs, and mental health issues.  To take one example, the doubled-edged sword of chronic pain and addiction presents a major health crisis costing all of us tens of billions of dollars per year in health costs and lost productivity.


Silver Hill Hospital, recognized for over 81 years of experience in helping individuals in search of recovery, has developed its Chronic Pain and Recovery Center to address the growing public safety issue of co-occurring disorders among patients with intractable pain. It is one of the few programs available in the nation designed specifically for the person with chemical dependency, addiction, and/or mental health issues.  The goal of treatment at the Chronic Pain and Recovery Center is for each individual to live a more functional, gratifying life and to be able to achieve those qualities of life that he or she values most.


It takes time to thoroughly address and treat the complexities and interrelationships of a patient’s pain and co-occurring disorders. Silver Hill’s program is devoted to taking that time through an intensive treatment protocol that focuses on healing the whole person. Silver Hill patients learn the active coping skills they need to manage pain with a minimum of medications. Those with addictions to medications or other drugs learn to acknowledge their addiction and acquire the information and skills necessary to avoid relapse. If pain medication is medically necessary, patients will be provided the skills to avoid lapsing into a substance use disorder. Our program consists of a minimum of four weeks residential treatment on site at Silver Hill, providing intensive education, behavioral skill development and increasing psychological awareness. Patients also participate in a physical therapy program that includes daily conditioning in the gym and pool.


The First Step - Evaluation and Inpatient Treatment

Nearly all our Chronic Pain and Recovery Center patients come to Silver Hill because they are either physically dependent or addicted to painkillers and sedatives. The work of the Chronic Pain and Recovery Center begins with a thorough evaluation by a clinical team consisting of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a physical therapist, and a pain specialist physician.  Upon acceptance into the program , an individual is admitted to Main House to begin a supervised taper from opiates, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, or alcohol. 


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After Inpatient Treatment – Transitional Living On Campus

Once an individual is stable on the inpatient unit, the treating team from the Chronic Pain & Recovery Center takes over care.  The Center's patients live on the Silver Hill campus for a minimum of four weeks continued treatment.  Removing individuals from their home environments creates greater control over behavioral patterns and medication use, and allows a total focus on symptom resolution, unlearning old habits, and developing new strengths in a safe environment. 


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