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The management of problem alcohol use among drug users in primary care : exploring patients’ experience of screening and treatment

By Catherine Anne Field, Jan Klimas, Walter Cullen, Joe Barry, Gerard Bury, Eamon Keenan, Suzi Lyons and Bobby P. Smyth


Problem alcohol use is common among drug using patients who attend GPs in Ireland (35%) and other European countries. It is associated with adverse health outcomes including physical, psychological and social implications. These include various forms of liver disease exacerbated by the high prevalence of Hepatitis C among IDUs (62-81% in Ireland), fatal/non-fatal opiate overdose, mood anxiety, personality disorders, poor emotional health and wellbeing, early cessation of drug treatment, poor treatment outcomes and an increase in anti-social behaviour. Evidence has demonstrated the role of primary care in screening and treatment for problem alcohol use and the importance of a stepped approach to alcohol treatment. This study examined patients’ experience of being screened and treated for problem alcohol use, the barriers and enablers to addressing these issues and their views on how these therapeutic interventions can be improved

Topics: Problem alcohol use, Primary care, Methadone treatment, Qualitative methods, Drug abusers--Alcohol use, Primary care (Medicine), Alcoholism--Treatment
Year: 2012
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