In September 2007 the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) on behalf of the Department of Health and devolved administrations published an updated version of "Drug Misuse & Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management". This is a new version of the 1999 Clinical Guidelines, commonly called the "Orange Book". The new Clinical Guidelines build on the previous evidence-based and well-established Clinical Guidelines but reflect some of the considerable changes that have occurred in drug treatment over the past eight years. The latest Clinical Guidelines also reflects the recent suite of guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Who are the Clinical Guidelines for?
"Drug Misuse & Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management" - hereafter referred to as the "2007 Clinical Guidelines" - is intended for all clinicians, especially those providing pharmacological interventions for drug misusers as a component of drug misuse treatment.
What are the 2007 Clinical Guidelines?
This document updates and replaces "Drug Misuse & Dependence - Guidelines on Clinical Management" (UK health departments 1999) - hereafter referred to as the "1999 Clinical Guidelines". It has the same status across the UK as the 1999 Clinical Guidelines.
The 2007 Clinical Guidelines provide guidance on the treatment of drug misuse in the UK. They are based on current evidence and professional consensus on how to provide drug treatment for the majority of patients, in most instances.
The 2007 Clinical Guidelines do not provide rigid protocols on how clinicians must provide drug treatment for all drug misusers. Neither does this guidance override the individual responsibility of clinicians to make appropriate decisions in the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient (and guardians and carers if appropriate). In instances where clinicians operate outside the framework of this guidance, they should be able to demonstrate the rationale for their decisions.
Why update the Clinical Guidelines?
UK guidelines for the clinical management of drug misuse were last revised in 1999. Since then there have been substantial developments in the evidence for drug treatment and clinical practice. These include:
- Greater recognition of and investment in the importance of drug treatment and a massive expansion in the numbers receiving treatment in the UK.
- An expanded evidence-base and resulting policy and practice guidance.
- Consensus on doctor competencies in substance misuse treatment (RCPsych and RCGP, 2005).
- Changes in contractual arrangements for general practitioners who provide drug treatment.
The "Drug Misuse & Dependence - Guidelines on Clinical Management" (Clinical Guidelines) are available below as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. Please see Help with Download Documents if you need more information.
This file has been made available with the kind permission of the Department of Health.
|2007 Clinical Guidelines||28th September 2007|
PDF (.pdf, 738K)
The PDF version of the 2007 Clinical Guidelines is also available on the NTA web site.