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Heroin addict (first consultation in primary care)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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During the first consultation with a heroin addict it is important to:

  • obtain an adequate drug history
    • type of drug, injected or taken by other route
    • length of drug abuse
    • effects of withdrawal
    • how does the patient support his habit

  • measures to limit harm
    • does the patient practise 'safe sex'
    • does the patient share needles/use 'shared' needles
    • does the patient use a needle exchange scheme/ counselling agency
    • what is the family support available to the patient

  • agree a contract with the patient
    • if being treated in primary care agree what is expected from the patient, what treatment is offered by the practice, the keeping of appointments etc.
    • if the patient is referred for treatment then agreement is still required about future contacts with the practice

  • register with regional drug misuse database/ notification of addicts

  • referral if specialized treatment and counselling not available from within the practice

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