Opiates can cause chronic pain via prediction
Chapter 10 endnote 21, from Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:
[The] worldwide epidemic of chronic pain is one of today’s great medical mysteries. [...] One part of the mystery: opioid drugs taken to relieve pain actually have a hand in transforming acute pain into chronic pain.
Opiate drugs such as morphine, if taken regularly, can make you more sensitive to pain. The brain, in an attempt to maintain a balanced body budget, anticipates morphine's analgesic effect by turning up the dial on nociceptive input, even after the non-neural tissue damage has healed. This kind of change is called a "compensatory conditioned response."
Notes on the Notes
- Lee, Marion, Sanford Silverman, Hans Hansen, and Vikram Patel. 2011. “A Comprehensive Review of Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia.” Pain Physician 14: 145–161.
- Spiegel, Shepard. 2008. "Learning and the wisdom of the body." Learning and Behavior 36 (3): 242-252.