What role do primary care providers play in the evaluation of problematic substance use?

For persons with co-occurring mental disorders and alcohol or drug problems, failure to address both problems can undermine successful treatment of one or the other. Untreated mental and substance use disorders result in excess morbidity and frustration for patients and families.

Primary care providers play an important role in evaluating for the presence of co-occurring illnesses as these individuals often present with symptoms that indirectly suggest the presence of either disorder.

The use of standardized screening tools can be helpful in evaluating for the substance use risk and primary care clinics. These include the CAGE, DAST or audit questionnaires.

Access “Talking with Your Adult Patients about Alcohol, Drug, and/or Mental Health Problems” at: https://pcssnow.org/resource/talking-with-your-adult-patients-about-alcohol-drug-andor-mental-health-problems/

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