Dr. Eimer specializes in helping people with chronic pain find pain relief through the use of client-centered hypnotherapy and mindfulness techniques. Make an appointment to learn how you can free yourself from pain and turn your life.
In my professional practice as a pain psychologist began in 1988 when several practice opportunities opened up for me. However, at that time, I had not as of yet experienced what it was like to live with chronic pain myself.
In 2011, after seventeen years of personal experience living with chronic pain, I started a pain psychology and behavioral medicine program at a large urban hospital’s outpatient pain clinic. The majority of the patients seen at this center were worn down by physical and psychological trauma that had occurred over the course of their lives. Most of these patients were referred for pain management because their doctors could not do anything more for them, or their doctors were reluctant to prescribe, or continue to prescribe, opioid (narcotic) pain medications. Many patients arrived at our pain treatment center expecting to be prescribed opioid pain medications by us.
Some of these patients were on high doses of opioid pain medications for many years; and yet, they still suffered from, and were disabled by, severe persistent pain. Some patients were addicted, and others were psychologically and physically dependent on pain medication.
Many patients tried every treatment imaginable to relieve their pain because they just wanted to be free of the constant suffering. Then, there were a few patients who essentially made a business out of going to “pain doctors” and getting opioid prescriptions to sell on the street.
Since I am a pain and addictions psychologist, the hospital tasked me with the job of evaluating every new chronic pain patient to determine what that patient’s real problems were. The misuse, abuse and diversion of opioid medications is a major problem in the United States, and is associated with thousands of fatal overdoses each year. From 2011 through 2017, I closely collaborated with the pain center’s board-certified pain management physicians, a talented nurse practitioner, and several physician assistants in assessing and treating complex chronic pain patients.
Unfortunately, “drug seekers” make it more difficult for people seeking legitimate pain relief to get medically necessary pain care. Therefore, new patients at the pain center must have a focused psychological evaluation to assess their level of risk for misusing, abusing or diverting opioid pain medications; because opioid pain medications are extremely dangerous if misused or abused. This is why they are classified as “scheduled drugs” that are tightly regulated by law. Today, in America, laws are stricter than in the past. Tighter regulatory guidelines at the time of this writing are strongly “advising” primary care doctors to limit their prescription of both short-acting and long-acting opioid pain medications for the long-term management of chronic pain.