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Family Doctors Drafted in the Drug War

Physician's Money Digest, August 2007, Volume 14, Issue 8

We've all watched the White House's efforts to diminish drug use in our country, whether it was through the fried-egg commercials, developed rehabilitation programs, or numerous policies. But according to a recent article in Newsweek, the government has now recruited family doctors in their plight. Currently, 17 states have federally funded drug-and-alcohol screening programs in place at trauma centers, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is now trying to convince general practitioners to adopt such programs as well. The ONDCP feels that these doctors may be in a better position to find those struggling with a problem and can better utilize the questionnaires developed. They believe that patients have a level of trust and respect for doctors when it comes to drugs because they trust them on other health matters. The ONDCP says the program may also work better among family doctors because the focus is on medicine and health, not morals—an approach that has only made those using drugs more resistant.