Many who seek chronic pain treatment are lost and confused, and aware of no option other than taking opiate medications as part of traditional treatment. Yet medication-based pain management often does not work, and regular use of opiates is a problem in and of itself. If traditional pain management has not worked for you, there is an alternative solution. Pain recovery is a comprehensive, opiate-free approach that entails safely discontinuing pain medication, decreasing the level of existing physical pain, and reducing mental, emotional, and spiritual suffering. Our concept of pain recovery was developed after looking at how individuals with chronic pain could be helped by an approach similar to the recovery process for people with addiction. Recovery leads individuals to a new way of life through a process that includes abstaining from mood-altering drugs; holistically addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of their disease; building mutual support and allies; and taking positive action. In our observations of addicts who are successful in recovery and of individuals with chronic pain who are off pain medication and living a fulfilled life, we found many similarities. The qualities that recovering addicts have developed allow them to find a better way to live and even feel grateful for their chronic disease, not unlike others who face and transcend adversity—people we admire, who motivate us and seem to “rise above” or deal with life’s problems in an effective and healthy manner. These kinds of people live lives that exemplify what we strive for in pain recovery and how we can change our experience of chronic pain from a negative to a positive. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).