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Integration of primary care with addiction treatment may be best done by bringing primary care into the addiction treatment setting, at least in the case of the most seriously affected patients, according to a new federal report.
The report, issued last week by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and prepared by the Minnesota Evidence-based Practice Center in Minneapolis, is based on a review of the literature and on case studies. The report is called "Integration of Mental Health/Substance Abuse and Primary Care," and one of the case studies--on the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics--shows how a program that focuses on substance abuse services has also incorporated primary care as a matter of course, because its patients need it.
The hallmarks of primary care are continuity, comprehensiveness and coordination, according to the report, characteristics …