Substance abuse is a major public health concern, affecting millions of people in the United States. Alcoholism and drug addiction often result in severe health problems for substance abusers. Families suffer, substance-related crime claims victims, and, most tragically, impaired driving accidents result in the deaths of thousands of innocent individuals each year. Clearly, the treatment of these problems is a major concern for our society.
Most patients with substance abuse problems present in primary care settings, oftentimes with other complaints. When professionals, working in primary or integrated care settings, know what to look for and healthcare systems can respond with effective triage, it is possible to implement substance-abuse treatment programs early. These interventions dramatically improve health outcomes and create significant financial benefits for suffers and the community at large. This volume, the work of a number of leading scholars, presents a coherent framework through which primary care establishments can implement this kind of life-saving early detection and treatment of substance-abuse problems.