Every year more than 500 Oregonians overdose and die on painkillers. As a result, Oregon doctors are reducing prescriptions dramatically. In this three-part series, OPB’s Kristian Foden-Vencil looks at new approaches to the state’s opioid epidemic. Read more: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Doris Keene says acupuncture, along with exercise and a healthy diet, has helped her manage her pain.

Doris Keene says acupuncture, along with exercise and a healthy diet, has helped her manage her pain.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

A Portland pain management program that doesn’t use opioids is showing success, according to a new report.

The Quest Center started working with FamilyCare 18 months ago — one of the state’s largest Coordinated Care Organizations.

Instead of opioids, the center helps patients deal with pain using acupuncture, massage, meditation and other alternative treatments.

WISH Pain Management Program

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Dr. David Eisen said a six month study showed 80 percent of patients reported less pain on average. “Seventy five percent reported an increase[d] ability to do normal work. And that’s huge,” she said. “Washing yourself, cleaning your house, being able to lift, bend and stoop. If people can resume activities of daily living, their life becomes much better.”

An average of 78 Americans die every day from opioid abuse — at least half get the drugs from a prescription.