Substance misuse

Dr Stephen Pick welcomes this guide for GPs on managing substance misuse.

Substance misuse is a common problem, and one that most GPs and those working in primary care will come across. It is a problem that can take a disproportionate amount of time, and if ill handled can have disastrous consequences for the patients involved, their families, children and society as a whole.

Yet substance misuse is well suited to being managed in general practice. This book, along with the Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management 2007 (new 'orange guidelines') and a good shared-care scheme, will help GPs feel better equipped to improve their understanding of this area of medicine.

This book empowers primary care workers to become more involved and to delve further into this highly important, controversial and yet essential part of general practice.

This book gives excellent advice. The authors of each chapter are experts in their fields and have vast experience. Each chapter is self-sufficient and easy to read, and covers topic by topic the understanding of addiction, and history, diagnosis and management of substance misuse.

Controversial areas
The book does not avoid difficult and potentially controversial areas, such as benzodiazepine prescribing. Alcohol and cannabis use are comprehensively covered, as are some of the more diverse populations met within substance misuse, such as injectors, the young, parents and children, and black and ethnic minorities. It tackles dual diagnosis, legal issues and the management of substance misuse in the prison system.

Each chapter is relevant to general practice, and is clear, evidence based and excellently referenced.

The reader is taken beyond the basics of substance use, while at the same time this book is highly relevant for someone coming to this topic for the first time.

Primary care management
Since this book was published, there have been changes in the management of substance misuse and there are now NICE guidelines for substance misuse as well as the new orange guidelines published in 2007.

The case for treating and managing substance misuse in primary care has become even more compelling.

The authors move from realising that primary care can be involved with substance misuse to asking how can primary care do it better?

Dr Pick is a GP in Reading with a special interest in substance misuse.

Book Giveaway

GP and the RCGP are giving away five copies of RCGP Guide to the Management of Substance Misuse in Primary Care, worth £24.95 each.

For a chance to win a copy, email by 18 July 2008.

If you are unlucky in the book draw then you can order a copy directly from the RCGP website at the price of £24.95 (

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