15.3 Drug and Alcohol Problems
This section of our curriculum guide refers to statement 15.3, Drug and Alcohol Problems, produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
The use of illicit drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, is common. All GPs have a responsibility for providing general medical care to drug-using adults. GPs are ideally placed to identify drug misuse before it becomes problematic and to be able to intervene effectively.
Drug use is amenable to treatment, using a combination of psychological, social and medical interventions. Substitution treatment, such as the use of methadone, is effective and when properly administered results in improvements in social, medical and psychological functioning, and a reduction in criminal behaviour.
GPs must be familiar with ways of identifying excess alcohol consumption and aware of the morbidity (physical, psychological and social) caused by alcohol.
Case study: Asthma exacerbation with heroin use
The case of an asthma death associated with heroin use.
Alcohol misuse: clinical review
The morbidity caused by excessive alcohol consumption, effective screening tools,...
Substance misuse: Cocaine use and its effects
An overview of cocaine misuse and its treatment.
Substance misuse: benzodiazepines
Practices need a clear policy for prescribing drugs with abuse potential.
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Volatile substance abuse
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The basics - Alcohol abuse
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