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April 8, 1992

Effort Under Way to Enlist More Primary Care Physicians in Treatment of Substance Abuse

JAMA. 1992;267(14):1887-1891. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480140009003

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AN EFFORT is under way to provide even better care for the patient with alcohol or other substance abuse problems.

One of the principal ways being explored is to enlist more primary care physicians into the army of social workers, counselors, and others who currently treat the majority of those with addiction to alcohol and other drugs, including addicted persons who may be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The latter group is included because of the high rate of substance abuse among this population.

The effort has the backing of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Bush administration. Burton J. Lee III, MD, President Bush's personal physician, cochaired a national steering committee that laid the groundwork.

Barriers to Care?  A series of workshops was held around the country to look at barriers to providing more quality care for the drug-abusing patient and to suggest ways