Recently, I’ve been exploring the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website for physicians and have discovered it is very good! The site is easy to use, even for a tech troglodyte like me. It serves as an excellent resource, offering many and varied services for us and our patients.
Find it at drugabuse.gov.
As you likely know, the prevalence of alcoholism in our primary care populations remains steady, around 10 percent, whereas the incidence of prescription opiate addiction increases by the day, as more patients are newly exposed to opiates.
To help these patients, the NIDA website offers one-stop shopping for addiction resources and information on research, diagnosis, management and education. Most primary care offices will find the patient education materials useful since addiction affects a good proportion of families in most practices.
In addition, you’ll discover the site offers drug and alcohol dependence screening tools, office posters and a comprehensive physician clinical support system, designed especially for primary care.
Are you an academic physician? You’ll find a section on current and planned clinical trials and studies, as well as educational modules for students and residents.
If you have an electronic health record system, you can mark the website as a favorite and locate it immediately while a patient is in front of you, to either use as a screening tool or provide patient handouts.
Another section is devoted to buprenorphine (Suboxone). Buprenorphine use (and abuse) is growing rapidly and most primary care physicians – whether aware of it or not – are likely seeing patients on buprenorphine. Information on the NIDA site related to buprenorphine can be a key resource.
The site’s physician curriculum section is impressive, too. It presents specific advice on many topics, including minimizing the misuse of opiates in patients with chronic, nonmalignant pain.
Give the NIDA website a chance. I think you will learn some things and have fun with this helpful resource.