January 10, 2012
Embedding Addiction Treatment in General Medicine
Wilson Compton, M.D., MPE
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Drug use and addictions are highly prevalent in the population and are associated with a broad range of serious health outcomes. Yet, most patients do not seek treatment on their own or seek treatment only when their condition has progressed to the most serious and chronic stages. Recent health care reforms (e.g. health care parity and greater insurance coverage for the uninsured) are expected to address this issue by providing insurance coverage for addiction services and for prevention and early treatment.
Embedding substance abuse interventions into the general health system is expected to improve patient care and outcomes. Key domain include addressing SBIRT, medication assisted treatment, and clinician training. The emerging health care reforms in the USA provide new opportunities, especially for addiction services.
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