Can my primary care doctor diagnose a substance abuse problem?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
A survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that fewer than one-third of primary care physicians thoroughly screen their patients for substance abuse problems, including alcohol problems. In the same survey, about four in 10 patients said they had a substance abuse problem that went undiagnosed, while one in 10 said his or her physician knew about a substance abuse problem but did nothing to address it.

Continue Learning about Substance Abuse and Addiction

How to Get Help for Widespread Drug Use Disorder
How to Get Help for Widespread Drug Use Disorder
In the 2002 made-for-TV movie, The Secret Life of Zoe, Julia Whelan (Zoe) plays a teenager whose divorced mother (Mia Farrow) and father (Cliff De You...
Read More
What are some physical signs of substance abuse?
George JosephGeorge Joseph
Physical signs of substance abuse • Bloodshot eyes• Pupils are dilated or pinpointed• Appetite chang...
More Answers
How can I help a loved one who has a problem with addiction?
Mercy HealthMercy Health
If you have a loved one, adult family member or friend who is struggling with addiction, the misuse ...
More Answers
Understanding Addiction and Addictive Behavior
Understanding Addiction and Addictive Behavior

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.