Addictive Behaviors and Chronic Pain in a High-Risk Population

Matta, Marissa S., Jeremy R. Porter, Sriram Chintakrindi, and Arthur G. Cosby (2016). Addictive Behaviors and Chronic Pain in a High-Risk Population: The Simple and Confounding Effects of Multiple Addictive Diseases. Journal of Drug Issues, 46(2): 135-147.

In this study, we use a cross-sectional design to examine the relationship between addictive behaviors and self-reported pain in a high-risk population of driving under the influence (DUI) violators. Our results suggest that individuals identified as having potentially dependent relationships with food, nicotine, drugs, alcohol, and sex have a greater likelihood of experiencing pain. However, the magnitude of the association varied significantly among the addictive domains and in relation to the severity and body location of the reported pain. Our results demonstrate simple and additive effects associated with the confounding relationships between multiple addictions and the likelihood of experiencing chronic pain. Potential explanations for these relationships range from the physiological relationship between obesity and lower body joint strain to potential psychological relationships associated with sex addiction and the experience of pain. Overall, the results highlight statistically important relationships between addiction, multiple addictions, and the experience of chronic pain.