U.S. Pain Foundation is dedicated to making sure people with pain are educated in all aspects of pain, so they can become empowered to make better decisions.



Pain Facts
Pain Populations

Abuse, Misuse and Diversion

Abuse and Misuse of prescription pain relievers in a serious public healthcare problem. In 2011, the White House identified prescription drug abuse and misuse as a major public health and public safety crisis. They therefore called for urgent action to ensure the appropriate balance between the benefits and risks for these medications.

Here are facts and resources to help you stay better informed.

General Information

Strategies to Prevent Opioid Misuse, Abuse, and Diversion That May Also Reduce the Associated Costs 

Prescription Drug Abuse Information & Statistics 

Video by the Alliance for Balanced Pain Management (AfBPM): “A Prescription for Reducing Opioid Abuse” 

National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse

America Starts Talking

Learn to Cope – a non-profit support network that offers education, resources, peer support and hope for parents and family members coping with a loved one addicted to opiates or other drugs

The Medicine Abuse Project 


Safety Information

Medication Safety A to Z 

Do’s and Don’ts for the Safe Use of Prescription Opioids 

Safeguard My Meds 

Lock Your Meds

Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing


Constipation is more than an inconvenience. It can be painful and embarrassing, disrupting plans and reducing quality of life. But for up to 8 million chronic pain sufferers who take opioid medication as part of a pain management regimen, opioid-induced constipation is something that must be addressed. There are effective treatments and lifestyle changes that can help.

What is Opioid-induced Constipation (OIC)?

Chronic constipation is a side effect for at least half the people taking opioids regularly for pain management. Opioids slow down the digestive system by attaching to the receptors in the bowel that normally cause forward motion. As the digestive process occurs, the large intestine continues to remove water from waste as it moves through the system. If waste movement is slowed down and stays in the large intestine, too much water is removed, making the stools hard and difficult to pass. Opioids can also actually partially paralyze the stomach so that food remains in the digestive tract for a longer period of time. In addition, opioids decrease system secretions and decrease the urge to defecate.

This slowing of the digestive system is not a side effect the body overcomes, like the nausea and vomiting sometimes caused by opioids that usually dissipates. If a person has constipation caused by opioids, it will continue as long as opioids are used.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

A diagnosis of OIC is made when two or more of these symptoms occur 25% of the time in a 3-month period:

  • Fewer than 3 bowel movements per week
  • Small, hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass
  • Straining, pressure and pain when defecating
  • An ongoing feeling of fullness/need to defecate/or obstruction
  • Bloating, distention, bulges in the abdomen
  • GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease (possibly)

In addition, OIC may cause:

  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Feeling ill
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

U.S. Pain wants you to know there is help and support! Here are a few sites/links for more information. There is a community that understands. Do not feel like you are alone.

INvisible Project – OIC Edition
Learn About Your Pain
OIC Is Different
Personal Story – Nicole Hemmenway

The Pain Cycle

Fellow pain warrior, Dennis Kinch, created The Pain Cycle, which provides information and support to those suffering so they may become engaged and empowered. In 2006, Dennis chose to walk Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles to raise pain awareness and share the knowledge he gained through his own Paget’s disease.

Dennis Kinch believes there is a way out of the suffering. It may not be a 3,000- mile walk for everyone. Yet for a man who should not be walking at all, he found a way out of the Pain Cycle … and he is here to help you.

Here is an excerpt from his book, “Journey through Pain…The Walk for Healing.”