A guide to substance abuse services for primary care clinicians

Yet even though screening and limited treatment of substance use disorders do not require a large time investment, the Consensus Panel that developed this TIP recognized that many primary care clinicians are already overwhelmed by the demands imposed by expanded gatekeeper functions. The Panel reali...

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Main Author: Sullivan, Eleanor J.
Corporate Author: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.)
Other Authors: Fleming, Michael F.
Format: eBook
Language:English
Published: Rockville, MD U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment 1997, 1997
Series:Treatment improvement protocol (TIP) series
Subjects:
Online Access:
Collection: National Center for Biotechnology Information - Collection details see MPG.ReNa
Summary:Yet even though screening and limited treatment of substance use disorders do not require a large time investment, the Consensus Panel that developed this TIP recognized that many primary care clinicians are already overwhelmed by the demands imposed by expanded gatekeeper functions. The Panel realized that a practical approach to addressing patients' substance abuse problems was needed: one that recognized the time and resource limitations inherent in primary care practice and offered a series of graduates approaches that could be incorporated into a normal clinic or office routine. Biological, medical, and genetic factors as well as psychological, social, familial, cultural, and other environmental features all bear on substance abuse. Addressing the condition effectively requires a team effort, especially when it has progressed beyond the early stage.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The goal of this TIP is to recommend guidelines for primary care clinicians to follow in caring for patients with alcohol and other drug use disorders. These guidelines were developed by a Consensus Panel of clinicians, researchers, and educators who work on the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders. Protocols are based partly on research evidence, partly on Panel members' clinical experience. The algorithm to the left follows a patient with substance use problems who presents in a primary care setting. The chart will serve as a guide or road map through screening, brief assessment, brief intervention, assessment, referral, specialized treatment, and followup care as they are detailed in the TIP.
The Consensus Panel's recommendations are based on a combination of clinical experience and research-based evidence. In the list below, the summary guidelines supported by the research literature are followed by (1); clinically based recommendations are marked (2). Citations supporting the former are referenced in the body of the document. Screening and assessment instruments mentioned below are reproduced and discussed in Chapters 2 and 4 and Appendix C. The guidelines are presented in more detail in Chapter 6
Since substance use disorders are often chronic conditions that progress slowly over time, primary care clinicians, through their regular, long-term contact with patients, are in an ideal position to screen for alcohol and drug problems and monitor each patient's status. Futhermore, studies have found that primary care clinicians can actually help many patients decrease alcohol consumption and its harmful consequences through office-based interventions that take only 10 to 15 minutes (Kahan et al., 1995; Wallace et al., 1988). This potential, however, is largely untapped: Saitz and colleagues found that of a sample of patients seeking substance abuse treatment, 45 percent reported that their primary care physician was unaware of their substance abuse (Saitz et al., in press).
For this reason, in addition to screening and intervention treatment options, these guidelines include information about viable referral for assessment and treatment, as well as followup. Readers will notice that the TIP contains more information on alcohol use and abuse than on use of illicit drugs. This reflects both the scope of the problems and the research literature available about them. It is estimated that about 18 million people with alcohol use problems and 5 million users of illicit drugs need treatment. Although the Panel recognizes that tobacco is an addictive substance with a major public health impact, it is not included in this TIP because the topic falls outside CSAT's purview. Readers are referred to "Smoking Cessation: a Guide for Primary Care Clinicians," published by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, 1996).
Item Description:PHS contract no. ADM 270-95-0013
Physical Description:xvii, 168 p. ill