At the Intersection of Substance Use Disorder and Pain: Current and Future Directions

Date/time: Wednesday, May 29th at 11:00 AM ET

Join us for a 1-hour webinar that will explore current research in the fields of substance use disorder and pain with focus on cannabis and polypharmacology. Registrants are encouraged to submit questions for the speakers before the webinar to ensure they are answered during the discussion. 


Nicholas Bush, MS is a 5th year doctoral student in neuroscience at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in the Minnesota Alcohol and Pain Lab (MAPL).  Mr. Bush's research focuses on measurement development, behavioral psychopharmacology and neuroimaging of pain and substance use. Beginning in the Fall, Mr. Bush will be transitioning to a postdoctoral position at Brown University in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. 

Presentation Title: A Brief Screening Tool for Risk of Self-Medication of Pain with Substance Use

Summary: Substance use and pain are both growing public health concerns globally. Evidence suggests that individuals may use substances in order to self-medicate their pain. The Catastrophizing, Anxiety, Negative Urgency, and Expectancy (CANUE) model was developed to provide a theoretical foundation for the modifiable risk factors implicated in self-medication of pain with substance use. This presentation will focus on using the outcomes from the CANUE model to develop and validate a brief clinical screening tool to identify individuals at risk for self-medication. 

Deondra Asike, MD is double board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. She is a Clinical Associate in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins. She is a veteran of the United States Air Force and deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan in 2013.  Dr. Asike is currently serving a second term on the Maryland Department of Health Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Advisory Board. Additionally, she chairs the Maryland Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council and The Maryland State Medical Society Cannabis Committee.  Dr. Asike is a certifying provider with the Maryland Cannabis Administration. In 2022 she founded National Pain ReLEAF, a consultation practice primarily focused on guiding both patients and members of their healthcare team through a safe and effective incorporation of cannabis into a comprehensive pain treatment.  

Presentation Title: Update on Evidence for Cannabis Use in Chronic Pain

Summary: There is growing support for cannabis legalization in the United States and cannabis use for the purposes of chronic pain management remains a top listed reason.  This presentation summarizes scientific findings published within the last 3-5 years regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for the purposes of chronic pain treatment. It will highlight key findings and takeaways from preclinical, clinical, and observational studies.  

Dr. Joao De Aquino is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and serves as the Assistant Chief of Psychiatry at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU). In addition to treating patients with substance use disorders, as a board-certified addiction psychiatrist, Dr. De Aquino is the Founding Director of the NIH-funded Pain and Addiction Neuroscience Interaction (PAIN) Lab. His work applies the techniques of behavioral pharmacology, multimodal assessment of pain, and clinical trials towards translating advances in neurobiology and improving the treatment of pain and addiction.

Presentation Title: Investigating the Intersection of Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Opioid Use Disorder: Clinical Perspectives and New Research Frontiers

Summary: I will present findings from a recently completed human laboratory study that examined the acute analgesic, subjective, and cognitive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, in individuals undergoing methadone therapy for opioid use disorder. This presentation will discuss the current state of evidence regarding cannabinoid-induced analgesia in this population and explore developing methodologies for assessing the balance between therapeutic benefits and adverse effects in opioid use disorder. 

Register here!