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Med Clin North Am. 2018 Jul;102(4):587-601. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2018.03.001.

Inpatient Addiction Consult Service: Expertise for Hospitalized Patients with Complex Addiction Problems.

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Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, 801 Massachusetts Avenue, Crosstown 2, Boston, MA 02118, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Staniford Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6, Canada; Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, St. Paul's Hospital, 553B-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1Y6, Canada.


Substance use disorders are highly prevalent and are a large driver of costly inpatient medical care; however, historically the substance use disorder has gone unaddressed during an inpatient stay. Inpatient addiction consult services are an important intervention to use the reachable moment of hospitalization to engage patients and initiate addiction treatment. Addiction consultation involves taking an addiction-specific history, motivational interviewing, withdrawal symptom management, and initiation of long-term pharmacotherapy. Addiction consult services have the potential to decrease readmissions and utilization costs for medical systems and improve substance-related outcomes for patients.


Addiction; Consult service; Hospitalized patient; Inpatient management; Substance use disorder; Withdrawal

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