Taking the prevalence obtained from studies in the community, we can estimate that at least a fifth of all primary care patients have some type of substance disorder, most frequently nicotine or alcohol dependence. Although it is hard to conceive how GPs could provide state of theart specialist substance abuse treatment in these patient groups, which are notorious for being particularly challenging, screening, recognition, referral, and motivational enhancement techniques are usually seen as a standard requirement in primary care. Theoretically, GPs Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical are in a unique position to at least intervene in legal
substance abuse problems. They avoid the stigma attached to specialist addiction units and have the advantage of comprehensively overlooking the long-term development and Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical somatic
and mental risks. In light of these advantages, numerous short brief intervention packages and programs have been launched and considerable effectiveness has been demonstrated in controlled trials. The focus of most of these programs (for example, the United Kingdom Alcohol Treatment Trial [UK ATT], the National Treatment Outcome Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Research Study [NTORS], and the Smoking and Nicotine Awareness and Treatment Study [SNICAS]) is mostly on motivational techniques (such as motivational enhancement therapy [MET]) for nicotine and alcohol abusers, as well as behavioral treatments Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical sometimes supplemented by drugs. The outcomes of such endeavors are frequently disappointing. The selleck compound recent SNICAS trial54 in Germany revealed that 16% of consecutive male and 12% of female primary care attendees have a current nicotine dependence (Figure 2.) Although they were aware of the aim of the study, the GP recognized
only 76% of these patients as smokers, discussed the Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical need for stopping with only 23%, and actually made an attempt to provide help in only 13%. Figure 2. Consecutive primary care attendees with nicotine dependence: recognition and management by primary care physicians. A further disappointing finding refers to patients’ lack of motivation to stop immediately and register Farnesyltransferase for a systematic state-of-the-art smoking cessation program and GPs’ apparent inability to perform appropriate motivational techniques. Thus, >1% of smokers actually receive some intervention. These findings clearly indicate that substance abuse treatment in primary care remains far from being a realistic option in routine care. Discussion The importance of the problem in mental disorders Clinical epidemiological studies are providing an increasingly sharper and fairly convergent picture about the importance of mental disorders in society, as well as in primary care.