Role of non-specialist nurses in supporting people who misuse drugs
evidence and practice    

Role of non-specialist nurses in supporting people who misuse drugs

Ian Hamilton Lecturer, Health Sciences, University of York, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To improve your knowledge of drug misuse and its associated health issues

  • To understand the potential reasons why some people misuse drugs

  • To increase your awareness of the interventions available to support people who misuse drugs

In their practice, nurses are likely to encounter people who misuse drugs, but they may find it daunting to support these patients. While specialist drug treatment services have an important role in providing substitution treatment and talking therapies, referral is not always appropriate for some patients. Non-specialist nurses are well placed to use techniques such as brief interventions and motivational interviewing to engage patients in discussions about their drug misuse and prompt them to consider how they could reduce it. This article defines drug misuse, describes the contributing factors that can lead to it and its associated health issues. It also discusses how non-specialist nurses can manage and provide optimal support for patients who misuse drugs.

Nursing Standard. 35, 6, 61-66. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11522

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Hamilton I (2020) Role of non-specialist nurses in supporting people who misuse drugs. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11522

Published online: 27 April 2020

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