Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Intern Med. 2001 Jan 8;161(1):85-91.

Benefits of linking primary medical care and substance abuse services: patient, provider, and societal perspectives.

Author information

Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, 91 E Concord St, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Individuals with alcohol and drug use problems may receive health care from medical, mental health, and substance abuse providers, or a combination of all three. Systems of care are often distinct and separate, and substantial opportunities for benefit to patient, provider, and payer are missed. In this article, we outline (1) the possible benefits of linking primary care, mental health, and substance abuse services from the perspective of the major stakeholders-medical and mental health providers, addiction clinicians, patients, and society-and (2) reasons for suboptimal linkage and opportunities for improving linkage within the current health care system. We also review published models of linked medical and substance abuse services. Given the potential benefits of creating tangible systems in which primary care, mental health, and substance abuse services are meaningfully linked, efforts to implement, examine, and measure the real impact should be a high priority.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center