Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management

Print resources

  • Less Pain, Fewer Pills: Avoid the Dangers of Prescription Opioids and Gain Control Over Chronic Pain © 2014. | Beth Darnall, PhD | Includes a guided, binaural relaxation audiofile and CD
  • The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit © 2016. | Beth Darnall, PhD | Easy-to-read, practical application of pain psychology skills. Includes a guided, binaural relaxation audiofile and CD
  • The Pain Survival Guide © 2005 | Dennis Turk, PhD and Frits Winter
  • The Chronic Pain Care Workbook © 2006 | Michael Lewandowski, PhD
  • Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain © 2015 | Sandra LeFort, Lisa Webster, Kate Lorig, et al.
  • Managing Chronic Pain Before It Manages You | Dr. Margaret Caudill, 4th Edition 2016
  • Managing Chronic Pain: A Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Approach  | John D. Otis Phd, 2007
  • Chronic Pain Survival Guide: Reclaiming your life | Dennis Turk PhD and Fritz Winter PhD,  2006
  • APS/AAPM Opioid Guidelines | Chou R, et al. Opioid Treatment Guidelines. Clinical guidelines for the use of chronic opioid therapy in chronic noncancer pain. Journal Pain 2009, Vol 10, No. 2: 113-120.




Mindfulness Meditation is evidence-based treatment for chronic pain. It involves helping calming mind and body, and learning to release the mental focus on pain that happens automatically. Research shows that mindfulness and meditation techniques work by changing how your brain responds to pain, thereby reducing pain intensity.  Learning mindfulness and meditation can help you reduce your pain. Here are some resources to help you get started:

  • Free Guided Meditations (English and Spanish)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
    • Pacifica – Anxiety, Stress, and Depression Relief
    • Mood Tools – Depression Aid
    • Chronic Pain Tracker Lite
    • Pain Diary & Forum – CatchMyPain
  • Other relaxation apps:
    • iBreathe
    • Breathe2Relax
    • Habit Bull
    • Insight Timer
    • Universal Breathing – Pranayama Free
    • Headspace: Guided meditation and Mindfulness
    • Brain & Nerves: Human Nervous System
  • Pillbox (nursing app)

Support groups

  • American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) | Patient advocacy group focusing on peer support and education for chronic pain patients and their families. Site includes free pain management tools, local support group information, and a resource guide for chronic pain treatments. Large medication user guide (prescription and over the counter medications) is very comprehensive and easy for patients to understand and apply.
  • The US Pain Foundation