Last week, I had lunch with Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., the Medical Director of Las Vegas Recovery Center, and his Admissions Coordinator, Jackie Pippin. The Las Vegas Recovery Center is a small, private facility that offers a chronic pain recovery program. While most chronic pain management treatment for injured workers involves ongoing prescription pain medication, injections and surgeries, this program focuses on medically detoxifying the individual from all opioids and then treating the physical and emotional pain with an intensive inpatient treatment program. That is followed by outpatient care modeled on twelve-step recovery programs. The program uses an individual, multidisciplinary approach that includes physical therapy, biofeedback, chiropractic, Pilate’s, acupuncture, and yoga. Dr. Pohl writes about alternative treatments in his book A Day Without Pain.
Dr. Pohl told me that this isn’t a program for every injured worker with chronic pain. He acknowledged that some injured workers are able to use opioid medications without developing dependence and compulsive use behaviors. He also knew that it was very difficult to obtain authorization from industrial insurers for an expensive inpatient treatment for drug dependency caused by a work injury. He and Jackie impressed me as compassionate people who were sincerely committed to finding solutions to how to treat chronic pain, particularly when it also involves addiction to opioid medications.
For more information on the Chronic Pain Recovery Program at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, contact Jackie Pippin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 290-6928.