Healthy People Chronic Pain Objectives

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion/Department of Health and Human Services

Chronic Pain

Goal: Reduce chronic pain and misuse of prescription pain relievers.

A man sitting at a weight machine grabs his knee in pain.

About 1 in 12 adults in the United States have high-impact chronic pain.1 Healthy People 2030 focuses on helping people with high-impact chronic pain safely manage their pain and reduce its impact.

Chronic pain can last for weeks, months, or even years. It’s linked to anxiety and depression, and it can limit people’s ability to work or do other activities. It’s also one of the most common reasons people see a health care provider. Strategies to help people manage chronic pain include physical therapy and interventions to increase physical activity.

Both non-opioid and opioid medications are also used to treat chronic pain. People who take opioids are at risk for many adverse effects, including opioid misuse. Improving opioid prescribing practices, increasing safe disposal of unused opioids, and increasing the use of non-opioid medications can help reduce opioid misuse.

Objective Status

  • 1 Target met or exceeded
  • 1 Improving
  • 1 Little or no detectable change
  • 0 Getting worse
  • 1 Baseline only

  • 2 Developmental
  • 0 Research

Learn more about objective types

Related Objectives

The following is a sample of objectives related to this topic. Some objectives may include population data.

Chronic Pain — General

Increase self-management of chronic pain that frequently limits life or work activities — CP-D01


Reduce the impact on loved ones of chronic pain that frequently limits life or work activities — CP-D02


Reduce the proportion of adults with chronic pain that frequently limits life or work activities — CP-01



Reduce the proportion of adults with arthritis who have moderate or severe joint pain — A-01

Baseline only

Drug and Alcohol Use

Reduce the proportion of prescription pain reliever misuse initiation in the past year — SU-20

Target met or exceeded

Reduce the proportion of people who misused a prescription pain reliever in the past year — SU-19

Little or no detectable change

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Dahlhamer, J., et al. (2018). Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67(36), 1001-1006.