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Integration of screening, assessment, and treatment for cannabis and other drug use disorders in primary care: An evaluation in three pilot sites.

Richards JE, Bobb JF, Lee AK, Lapham GT, Williams EC, Glass JE, Ludman EJ, Achtmeyer C, Caldeiro RM, Oliver M, Bradley KA. Integration of screening, assessment, and treatment for cannabis and other drug use disorders in primary care: An evaluation in three pilot sites. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2019 Aug 1; 201:134-141.

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BACKGROUND: This pilot study evaluated whether use of evidence-based implementation strategies to integrate care for cannabis and other drug use into primary care (PC) as part of Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) increased diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs). METHODS: Patients who visited the three pilot PC sites were eligible. Implementation strategies included practice coaching, electronic health record decision support, and performance feedback (3/2015-4/2016). BHI introduced annual screening for past-year cannabis and other drug use, a Symptom Checklist for DSM-5 SUDs, and shared decision-making about treatment options. Main analyses tested whether the proportions of PC patients diagnosed with, and treated for, new cannabis or other drug use disorders (CUDs and DUDs, respectively), differed significantly pre- and post-implementation. RESULTS: Of 39,599 eligible patients, 57% and 59% were screened for cannabis and other drug use, respectively. Among PC patients reporting daily cannabis use (2%) or any drug use (1%), 51% and 37%, respectively, completed an SUD Symptom Checklist. The proportion of PC patients with newly diagnosed CUD increased significantly post-implementation (5 v 17 per 10,000 patients, p? < 0.0001), but not other DUDs (10 vs 13 per 10,000, p? = 0.24). The proportion treated for newly diagnosed CUDs did not increase post-implementation (1 vs 1 per 10,000, p? = 0.80), but did for those treated for newly diagnosed other DUDs (1 vs 3 per 10,000, p? = 0.038). CONCLUSIONS: A pilot implementation of BHI to increase routine screening and assessment for SUDs was associated with increased new CUD diagnoses and a small increase in treatment of new other DUDs.

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