Less Pain, Fewer Pills

Avoid the dangers of prescription opioids and gain control over chronic pain

Beth Darnall, PhD

Paperback Price: $15.16 List Price: $18.95 (save 20%) ISBN: 9781936693580
eBook Price: $12.76 List Price: $15.95 (save 20%)
  • epub (for iPhone/iPad, Android, eReaders)

Less pain fewer pills cover front 6x9 copy

Quantity discounts (excludes digital products):

  • 1 - 49 items: 20% discount
  • 50 - 199 items: 30% discount
  • 200 - 499 items: 35% discount
  • 500+ items: 40% discount

Estimated delivery date: November 25 – November 27 eBooks and MP3 Audio files are available for download on purchase. Questions?

If you have chronic pain, it is essential to:

  • Know your health risks for using opioid painkillers – even when taken exactly as prescribed
  • Arm yourself with the right information to make an informed choice about whether to take opioids or not
  • Learn techniques that help you need less pain medication and promote mindful use of medication

Chronic pain is a medical problem shared by roughly 100 million Americans. There has been an alarming trend of using opioids to treat chronic pain, despite little research to support the practice.

In fact, long-term opioids come with hidden costs—such as poor sleep, the need for more medications, dose escalations, hormone imbalances—and even more pain. Learn the surprising risks of long-term opioid use and create a road map to minimize medications and optimize your control. 

Less Pain, Fewer Pills shows you how to harness the power of your own mind to ease suffering and reduce your need for pain medication. In doing so, you will gain control over your pain care and become empowered to live your best life possible. Learn concrete, evidence-based psychological and behavioral alternatives for pain control:

  • Build your personalized Empowerment Program to reduce pain naturally with tools from the book including downloadable charts and journals 

  • Discover proven psychological techniques to overcome catastrophizing -- a major factor in the experience of pain intensity and duration

  • Receive a free, proven mp3 relaxation recording enhanced with state-of-the art binaural technology

  • If you choose to take opioids, learn mindful use; if you choose to stop opioids, develop your comprehensive taper plan.

Includes a Enhanced Pain Management CD that includes binaural relaxation techniques. If you order an eBook, download or stream your FREE copy of the MP3.

Rave Reviews

"Dr. Darnall is thoughtful and pragmatic, encouraging and supportive: she has made a career out of helping countless patients mitigate their own pain...For patients being handed an opiate prescription to manage their pain, Less Pain, Fewer Pills is a welcome resource."
—Patricia Gale, Blogcritics

What we forget is that opioids don’t simply dampen pain, they dampen everything—joy, energy, memory, social interactions, personality, life itself. If you want to fully experience life, you can—even if you have chronic pain — but not if you let opioids rule. Read this book and learn how to take back what you may have lost.”
—Jane C. Ballantyne, MD
Professor of Education and Research; Director of the Pain Fellowship
University of Washington

Every person with chronic pain can benefit from self-empowerment and the opportunity to reduce the need for drugs or medications. Dr. Darnall offers a critical review of chronic pain management and a thoughtful and pragmatic approach to self-empowerment — and to living with chronic pain in a manner that promotes as much personal wellbeing as is possible, ideally with fewer drugs and less pain.”
—Philip Pizzo, MD
Former Dean and the David and Susan Heckerman Professor,
Stanford University School of Medicine

Pain is a difficult symptom that is often over-treated by opioids, which in themselves lower the quality of life. This book gives great real-world examples and tips on how to avoid this vicious cycle. Beth Darnall is a leading expert in her field and has helped thousands of people with pain.”
—Kate Lorig, DrPH
Director and Professor Emeritus, Patient Education Research
Center in the School of Medicine, Stanford University

This book is a wonderful guide to help those suffering from chronic pain to not only understand the pitfalls of long-term opioid use, but more importantly to return to good health and everyday life activities. Dr. Beth Darnall’s Less Pain, Fewer Pills offers readable and understandable advice to manage pain successfully while avoiding ineffective and harmful treatments, especially with opioids. For those suffering from unrelenting chronic pain, here is the guide that will make a difference.”
—Steven D. Feinberg, MD, MPH
Board Certified, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Board Certified, American Board of Pain Medicine
Past-President of the American Academy of Pain Medicine

Dr. Darnall writes clearly and with empathy, and her balanced approach will help anyone struggling with chronic pain. This book provides patients with the tools they need to take back control of their pain and their lives without having to rely on pain medications.
—Roger Chou, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University

Dr. Darnall has created a book that eloquently articulates the perils of relying exclusively on opioids for the management of chronic pain. Through case studies and a very readable review of the scientific evidence, she makes a compelling case for utilizing non-opioids and behavioral therapies to manage ongoing pain. While this book is wholly accessible to lay readers, I would strongly encourage our medical colleagues, particularly those with substantial populations of pain patients to read this volume and to recommend it to their own patients and colleagues.”
—Robert Paul Cowan, MD, FAAN
Professor of Neurology,Stanford University School of Medicine
Director, Stanford Headache Program

Dr. Darnall’s new book provides a refreshing approach to reduce reliance on prescription opioids for chronic pain. The book not only provides an accurate description of the problems related to long-term opioid use—it also presents an effective, step-by-step approach to eliminate the use of prescription opioids.”
—W. Michael Hooten, MD
Division of Pain Medicine,
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Dr. Darnall offers a refreshing approach to sensible opioid-use reduction by considering the real issues facing patients today. I was particularly impressed that she did not set out to criticize opioids as a class, but rather articulated the conundrums and associated risks that prescribers and patients alike should understand before considering opioids acutely and chronically. More importantly she recognizes opioid usefulness balanced against important psychological vulnerabilities and non-medication strategies. She simplifies many of the issues without placing blame on patients with persistent pain or on clinicians. Overall, this book will help patients and providers understand the how and why of opioid prescription benefits versus risks. The importance of recognizing vulnerabilities and appropriately stratifying them is discussed; this will enable the patient-reader to take control of their prescribed medications and seek professional help if required, rather than falling victim to opioids controlling the outcome.”
—Jeffrey Fudin, BS, PharmD, FCCP
Diplomate, American Academy of Pain Management
Owner & Managing Editor, PainDr.com & NovaPain Associates

Dr. Darnall has written a superb book for anyone suffering from chronic pain who needs alternatives to opiate medication. She has provided detailed cognitive-behavioral strategies that the patient can utilize to gain control over chronic pain. She also fully depicts the risks of chronic opiate therapy. The knowledge and skills she acquired in over 15 years of treating chronic pain patients are the cornerstones of this book.”
—John Loeser, MD
Professor, University of Washington
Past President, American Pain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain

Table of Contents

Part I:  The Problem & Your Risks 

Chapter 1.  One Girl’s Story
Chapter 2.  A Painkiller Trap?
Chapter 3.  Prescription Opioids: Know Your Specific Risks
Chapter 4.  Be Aware of These Opioid Pitfalls

Part II:  Your Solution is to Gain Control

Chapter 5.  Know and Treat the FULL Definition of Pain
Chapter 6.  Calm Your Nervous System to Reduce Your Need for Prescription Opioids
Chapter 7.  Shift Your Thoughts and Emotions to Reduce Your Need for Prescription Opioids
Chapter 8.  Changing Your Choices will Reduce Your Need for Prescription Opioids
Chapter 9.  Tapering Off Prescription Opioids: Tips for Success
Chapter 10.  Putting it All Together in YOUR EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM
Chapter 11.  An Example of Mindful Use of Prescription Opioids

Appendix:  Historical Notes

About the Author

Beth Darnall, PhD, is a clinical associate professor in the division of pain medicine at Stanford University. She has more than 15 years’ experience treating adults with chronic pain and lived through her own chronic pain experience. Beth is the author of The Opioid-Free Pain Relief Kit (Bull Publishing, 2016) and Less Pain, Fewer Pills (Bull Publishing, 2014). She lives in Palo Alto, California.


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