Alcohol misuse was the main topic of conversation for GPs at the Warwickshire shared care conference and training event held last week (22 March).
GPs with an interest in substance misuse attended the conference to hear about the latest developments and best practice in the management of patients with a drug or alcohol problem in primary care.
Alcohol misuse and the growing number of people presenting at their GP surgery with alcohol-related health issues emerged as the key concern of the day.
Other themes emerging were:
- the move towards recovery from addiction without forgetting the important role of substitute prescribing as part of that agenda
- the need to offer more drug and alcohol treatment from GP surgeries as they are so accessible to the local community
- the need to work flexibly to accommodate individuals with different needs such as those at work or college
- the importance of consistency in the staff supporting clients to improve their treatment experience
- safety and well-being when prescribing medication for drug and alcohol clients
- new and emerging substances – an awareness of ketamine, its effects and its impact on health and well-being
- the growing problem of alcohol and the need to use every appropriate opportunity to challenge someone’s drinking behaviour and deliver a brief intervention
- the range of health problems that are linked to drug and alcohol use such as hep C
Matters arising during the event will be taken up by the Warwickshire Harm Reduction and Shared Care Group where an action plan will be put in place to address the issues and further develop a recovery-focused support system.
Presentations from the day are available to download below: