Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Primary Care

The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in the preceding year, 70% of Americans 18 years older (161 million adults) had used alcohol and that 9% of adults (20 million) met the criteria for an alcohol or drug use disorder. Many of these adults with alcohol or drug use disorders are “overrepresented” in primary care which is, therefore, ideally suited to “[identify] and briefly [intervene] with substance abusers.” Yet, adults are not commonly asked about or treated for their alcohol or drug use when visiting a general practitioner. Nevertheless, with the incorporation of screening, behavioral counseling, and other evidence-based practices, the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs) by health care practitioner in primary care is “both possible and practical.”

This month, learn about how behavioral health integration can help to better address substance use disorders in primary care.

Read our previous story that discusses alcohol use disorders in primary care and related articles that propose ways to better address SUDs in primary care:

National Drug Facts Week is coming up (January 26 – February 1). Take an interactive quiz to test your knowledge on drugs and drug abuse and join in on Drug Facts Chat Day (January 30, 2015) to learn more:

And finally, keep a look out in New & Notable for more articles about the treatment of SUDs in primary care coming later this month!