Saturday, 1 April 2017

ACP terms substance use disorders as chronic medical conditions

ACP terms substance use disorders as chronic medical conditions Substance use disorders related to illicit and prescription drugs, including opioids, are chronic medical conditions that are treatable through public and individual health interventions, says the American College of Physicians (ACP) in a new policy statement published online March 27, 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The new ACP policy statement includes public policy recommendations for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders involving illicit and prescription drugs. Some of the key recommendations to combat the epidemic of prescription drug misuse are as follows: • Physicians should familiarize themselves with and follow as appropriate clinical guidelines related to pain management and controlled substances such as prescription opioids as well as non-opioid drugs and non-drug interventions • Expansion of access to naloxone to opioid users, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel • Expansion of access to medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorders • Improved training in the treatment of substance use disorders including buprenorphine-based treatment • Establishment of a national Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and improvement of existing monitoring programs. ACP also recommends public and individual health interventions rather than excessive reliance on criminalization and incarceration to prevent and treat substance use disorders. It proposes education and training of health care professionals to substance use disorders. Health insurance should cover mental health conditions including substance use disorders. (Source: ACP News release, March 28, 2017) Dr KK Aggarwal National President IMA & HCFI

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