Drug and alcohol disorders can occur in any patient seen in family practice, and they are present in many more patients than are diagnosed. Primary care physicians are on the front line in identifying and treating those patients. And experts say if doctors played a more active role in spotting the people at risk, there would be fewer substance abuse problems in the long run. Physician awareness of the potential for such problems is the first step in detecting, evaluating and treating patients who are substance abusers.
In some cases, treatment is possible in the office setting. In others, the physician oversees inpatient treatment or makes referrals and provides long-term collaborative follow-up, all of which are essential if the patient is to avoid a relapse. Treatment should be considered part of an ongoing process designed first to help the patient discontinue the self-destructive behavior and then to maintain abstinence from illegal or problematic drug use. The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Helpline can help you and your patients find appropriate referrals . Call 1-800-327-5050 or 617-292-5065 to speak with a knowledgeable Information and Referral Specialist. Services are free and confidential. Interpreter services are always available.
We are here to help you find the programs and services that that can help your clients. Our services are free and anonymous. Interpreter services are available in over140 different languages for non-English speaking callers.