- Identify the prevalence of substance use disorder
- List risk factors that increase the risk of unhealthy substance use
- Describe ways to help improve unhealthy substance use treatment
- Identify benefits of incorporating addiction medicine care into the primary care setting
“Unhealthy substance use continues to be an ongoing epidemic, especially on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this CME is to educate and encourage physicians to broaden their approach to identifying and managing substance use disorders in all settings including primary care.”
Primary Care at the Intersection of Lifestyle Interventions and Unhealthy Substance Use
Primary care physicians are well-positioned to integrate lifestyle interventions into the management of patients with unhealthy substance use, who may also have mental and physical chronic health comorbidities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the U.S.’s poor state of health, revealing that its current approach to chronic disease management is neither effective nor sustainable.
Today’s full spectrum comprehensive care model requires an expanded toolkit. Lifestyle interventions broaden current treatment approaches and may enhance Addiction Medicine care. Primary care providers have the potential to have the greatest impact on unhealthy substance use care because they are experts in chronic disease management and their frontline accessibility minimizes healthcare barriers. Individuals with unhealthy substance use are at an increased risk of chronic physical conditions.
Incorporating lifestyle interventions with unhealthy substance use care at every level of medicine, from medical school through practice, normalizes both as part of the standard care of medicine and will drive evidence-based best practices to support patients through prevention, treatment, and reversal of chronic diseases.