Pain management often involves the prescription of painkillers and other related medication as a means of controlling it but there is a risk of the patient becoming addicted to the pain relief medication.

Narcotics have numerous dangers associated with their use. Clearly addiction is a very real problem the exact incidence of which varies widely between studies. Some authors cite the risk as 1/7000, whereas a study in a chronic pain clinic put the incidence of addiction at over 30%. Patients who have been abused (particularly sexually as children), have anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder and other psychiatric conditions are believed to have an increased risk of developing addiction.