NIDAMED - Resources to Help Physicians Screen for Drug Use

October 12, 2010

NIDAMED - Resources to Help Physicians Screen for Drug Use

Gayathri J. Dowling, PhD
Deputy Chief,
Science Policy Branch Office of Science Policy and Communications National Institute on Drug Abuse

In 2008, an estimated 71 million Americans used a tobacco product, 58 million binged on alcohol, and 20 million used an illicit drug in the past month—behaviors that contribute to multiple physical health, emotional, and interpersonal problems. Yet most people who need treatment for drug or alcohol problems do not receive it. In fact, in 2008 of the more than 23 million persons aged 12 or older who needed specialized treatment, almost 21 million did not receive it. And 95 percent of those felt that they didn’t need it. These are patients in need who won’t seek treatment on their own. But this is only a fraction of the problem. There are millions more with problematic drug use that remains undetected. Many of these patients are seen in clinical settings for other conditions. Therefore, primary care clinicians can play a pivotal role in helping patients get the treatment they need. But they can do more—they are also in a unique position to identify at risk patients and prevent their escalation to addiction as well as the myriad health conditions affected by their drug use.

This webinar will demonstrate the use of the NIDA-Modified Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (NM-ASSIST), a Web-based interactive tool that guides clinicians through a series of screening questions and, based on the patient’s responses, generates a substance involvement score that suggests the level of intervention needed. It will also provide an overview of substance abuse curriculum resources that were developed in partnership with the American Medical Association and eight medical schools across the country. These resources provide accurate scientific information on substance abuse, addiction, its consequences, and treatment in a variety of formats.

The topic areas covered include prescription drug abuse, methamphetamine abuse, and general substance use disorders and are targeted towards medical students and residents, as well as medical school faculty We value your feedback and would like to hear from you.

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