Doctors’ Group Says Substance Use Disorders are Chronic Medical Conditions

The American College of Physicians (ACP) says substance use disorders are chronic medical conditions. The group called for greater access to care for people struggling with drug addiction.

In a position paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the group stated substance use disorders need ongoing treatment, and are not a “moral disorder or character defect.”

ACP says it wants to see tighter controls for opioid prescriptions, more training for doctors to deal with substance abuse, and more options for mental health treatment, ABC News reports.

“Drug overdose deaths, particularly from opioids such as prescription pain relievers and heroin, is a rising epidemic,” ACP President Nitin S. Damle, MD, said in a news release. “Substance use disorders are treatable chronic medical conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, that should be addressed through expansion of evidence-based public and individual health initiatives to prevent, treat, and promote recovery.”

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