St George’s Medical School (University of London) and the SSA produced a user-friendly set of factsheets to help integrate knowledge of substance use into the undergraduate medical curriculum. This factsheet examines the role of general practitioners (GPs) in helping patients with substance use problems. After reading the factsheet, medical students will:

  • appreciate that the patient is entitled to the same health care as for any other patient, in addition to that required for substance use
  • understand that substance use is common and can present with a multiplicity of features
  • appreciate how to differentiate between substance use, substance use problems, and dependence
  • appreciate the relevance of primary care to the prevention, detection, and management of substance use and its complications in primary care
  • recognise that substance use is often part of a complex picture of physical, psychological, family, relationship, legal, and financial factors
  • identify opportunities for detection and treatment of substance use in primary care
  • identify the relationship between common presentations and substance use
  • be aware of a holistic approach to the physical, psychological, and social assessment and management of patients in partnership with healthcare professionals, specialists, voluntary, and criminal justice sectors

Download the factsheet here