Problem drug use in a central London general practice.BMJ 1992; 304 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.304.6835.1158 (Published 02 May 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;304:1158
- J. Cohen,
- A. Schamroth,
- I. Nazareth,
- M. Johnson,
- S. Graham,
- D. Thomson
- Department of Primary Health Care, University College and Middlesex School of Medicine, Whittington Hospital, London.
OBJECTIVE--To describe the profile of problem drug users presenting in general practice and to determine whether they can be cared for in general practice. DESIGN--Study of consultations by problem drug users. SETTING--Central London general practice. SUBJECTS--150 problem drug users presenting over two years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Stopping drug use, alterations in lifestyle, obtaining paid work, and stopping drug related crime. RESULTS--Of the 150 patients, 111 were men and 39 women, and 106 were unemployed. 121 patients used heroin, 112 of whom injected. 145 patients accepted a methadone reduction programme and 81 completed it. A further 25 were stabilised on reducing doses of methadone, until places became available for them as inpatients at drug dependency units or rehabilitation projects. CONCLUSION--Withdrawal programmes for patients who misuse drugs can be successfully managed in general practice.