Larry M. Gentilello, MD; Eric Goplerud, PhD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: The authors were technical advisors to The Joint Commission in drafting their substance use performance measures.
Gentilello LM, Goplerud E. Candidate Performance Measures for Screening for, Assessing, and Treating Unhealthy Substance Use in Hospitals. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154:73. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-154-1-201101040-00017
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(1):73.
TO THE EDITOR:
We read Saitz's recent article (1) with great interest. Saitz concluded that evidence is insufficient to support screening and offering counseling to hospitalized patients with substance use problems. He recommends that clinicians treat the 70 acute and chronic illnesses that are linked to unhealthy substance use and ignore the underlying cause.
That would be the death of medical common sense. It would be like treating a patient with myocardial infarction without screening for hypercholesterolemia, treating a patient who had a stroke without measuring blood pressure, treating a patient with emphysema without screening for tobacco use, or treating a patient with diabetes without addressing blood glucose concentration.
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