These factsheets, aimed at medical students, cover substance misuse across medical disciplines and include common clinical presentations and management of such within four categories: these are Clinical Presentations; Specialities and Settings; Communication,treatment and prevention interventions; and Distinctive Groups. They were developed for the Substance Misuse in the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum project.

Category I: Clinical Presentations

Substance misuse and infectious diseases

Publish date: March 2016

This factsheet reviews drug and alcohol use and how it is associated with infectious diseases and covers, viral infections, respiratory infections, acute bacterial infections and sexually transmitted infections.

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Substance misuse in psychiatry

Publish date: March 2016

 This factsheet illustrates the psychological, physical and social complications resulting from the combination of substance misuse and mental health problems with a vignette

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Palliative care

Publish date: March 2016

Explores issues of pain management of a patient with a drug and alcohol use history within the context of a palliative care case

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Category II: Specialities & Settings

Drug Misuse in the Emergency Department

Publish date: November 2017

Drug misuse can result in attendance at Accident and Emergency and may include acute toxicity, injuries and/or psychiatric complications of drug use. This factsheet describes the management of these conditions.

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Alcohol and the Emergency Department

Publish date: Dec 2017

Alcohol-related harm results in large numbers attending Accident and Emergency. This factsheet describes the management of people in A&E with alcohol related conditions.

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Category III: Communication, Treatment & Prevention Interventions

Assessment and Screening Tools

Publish date: March 2016

Describes the need for screening and assessment, provides a detailed history taking schedule and includes examples of tools used to screen and assess for drug, alcohol and nicotine use.

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Alcohol withdrawal

Publish date: Dec 2017

Describes the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, the treatment options, including onward referrals.

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Novel Psychoactive Substances

Publish date: August 2016

This factsheet includes information on emerging and re-emerging psychoactive drugs known as novel psychoactive substances (NPS), colloquially called “legal highs” and “designer drugs”, and through a case study looks at the potential health harms.

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Public health and substance misuse

Publish date: April 2018

Describes how substance misuse fits into public health including the legislative framework, campaigns, and the impact of public health interventions.

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Communication and substance misuse

Publish date: March 2018

Sets out the key features which facilitate effective clinical communication when working with patients who have a history of substance misuse.

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Category IV: Distinctive Groups

The Health of Doctors

Publish date: Dec 2017

The impact of substance misuse amongst doctors and medical students is a serious issue. This factsheet explores the recognition and management of such concerns through two vignettes.

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Young people

Publish date: August 2016

This factsheet describes the specific elements about the assessment and treatment of young people up to the age of 18 years who are using drugs and alcohol.

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Older people

Publish date: Dec 2014

This factsheet reviews the special problems relating to the detection and treatment of older people with a history of substance misuse and those who are still using substances.

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