National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Comorbidity of mental disorders and substance use: a brief guide for the primary care clinician

2.5 Pharmacological approaches

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Clinicians should avoid using substances of dependence such as methadone unless these are used as part of a harm reduction plan.

Benzodiazepines should not be used for more than a few days. Generally, longer acting benzodiazepines are preferable.

Clinicians should consider whether the current medication for the mental disorder is adequate or causing sideeffects as the patient may be self medicating with non-prescribed drugs to relieve symptoms or side effects.

The clinician should consider potential interactions between all substances used.

If there is drug-seeking behaviour, then engagement of the patient in a planned and limited prescribing program is required (e.g. Medicare Australia consent for all prescribing information to go to the one prescriber).

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