Powerful painkillers can often dispatch acute pain, but using them for chronic, persistent pain carries the risk of addiction. Nearly two million Americans have a substance abuse disorder stemming from prescribed opioids.
So scientists are researching ways to treat pain without drugs. We talk with journalist Yudhijit Bhattacharjee who wrote about them in The National Geographic.
And we talk with University of Maryland professor Luana Colloca featured in the article. Her research shows that people experiencing pain and those who aren’t respond similarly to placebos … with very positive effects.