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Discussion

This review was not intended to be a comprehensive, cumulative review of evidence regarding drug misuse screening and treatment. It was designed, rather, to address whether there still is insufficient evidence available to answer critical key questions required for the USPSTF to make a recommendation on this topic as a clinical preventive service in primary care. Our review was limited to the defined scope of work as a staged review to update a previous USPSTF recommendation.

Results

We found no evidence addressing the effects on health outcomes of screening to identify and treat drug misuse among asymptomatic individuals in primary care settings. It should be noted that evidence relevant to this key question would require comparing screened versus unscreened individuals. Evidence derived from a context of universal screening comparing individuals who screened positive for drug misuse with individuals who screened negative would not be considered applicable to this key question.

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