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Make your views known on drug misuse

A recent Pulse 60-second interview with Dr Clare Gerada, founder of the RCGP substance misuse unit, has again highlighted the importance of GP involvement in treating drug addictions.

I would also like to draw attention to the increasing emphasis on the GP's role in managing psychostimulant drug users.

Evidence is mounting that misuse of psychostimulant drugs (PSDs) such as cocaine, crack cocaine and ecstasy is on the increase.

The lack of effective pharmacological agents to treat PSD misuse makes the GP advisory role all the more important. However, we currently have a very limited picture of the extent to which GPs are already carrying out this role.

A survey being conducted by the University of Aberdeen's department of general practice and primary care aims to describe current management of drug misuse, including PSDs, by Scottish GPs.

The survey will also compare GPs' current perceptions about the treatment of drug misusers with those measured previously in 2000.

Changes in the contract and availability of updated resources - such as the Orange Guidelines and RCGP certificate in management of drug misuse - may have affected practice since the previous survey.

I would urge any Pulse readers receiving the survey to complete the questionnaire, which will provide us with valuable information for future service development.

Dr Catriona Matheson, Senior research fellow, University of Aberdeen

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