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Books, Journals, New Media
April 12, 2000

Substance AbuseThe American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2000;283(14):1887. doi:10.1001/jama.283.14.1887

Historically, and too often now, the doctor taking a patient's medical history typically has touched only cursorily on substance use: "smokes one pack per day, occasional drink socially." Such superficiality is extraordinary, considering that substance abuse is arguably the number one public health problem in the United States, affecting 18% of the population at some time in their lives and costing $144 billion per year in health care and job loss. Recognizing this importance, Fleming et al,1 have written, "Performing an alcohol and drug history on every patient seen in a clinical setting . . . is likely to become the new standard of care."

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