Management of Adults Recovering From Alcohol or Other Drug Problems: Relapse Prevention in Primary Care

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Patients recovering from substance use disorders are commonly seen in the primary care setting, and relapse is a serious long-term problem for these patients. Extrapolating from therapeutic strategies effective in specialty addiction treatment settings, this article outlines a practical approach to relapse prevention in the primary care setting. Working within a supportive patient-physician relationship, the primary care physician can help recovering patients decrease their susceptibility to relapse, recognize and manage high-risk situations, and use available self-help, pharmacological, and specialty resources. Drawing on the therapeutic relationship and skills they already possess, primary care physicians can have an important, productive, and satisfying role in the long-term management of patients in recovery from alcohol or other drug problems.

JAMA.1998;279: 1227-1231

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