Medline ® Abstract for Reference 116
of 'Psychosocial issues in advanced illness'
Substance abuse issues in cancer patients. Part 1: Prevalence and diagnosis.
Passik SD, Portenoy RK, Ricketts PL
Oncology (Williston Park). 1998;12(4):517.
Although rare, drug abuse problems present a complex set of physical and psychosocial issues that complicate cancer treatment and pain/ symptom management. Most oncologists are not be well versed in either the conceptual or practical issues related to addiction. As a result, they often struggle in their attempts to effectively treat patients who are or have been substance abusers, and they find it difficult to understand issues of addiction in patients with pain who have no history of substance abuse. In the first installment of a two-part series, the authors explore the epidemiology of substance abuse. An examination of the distinctions between abuse and dependence leads to definitions of these terms appropriate for the oncology setting. Guidelines for assessing aberrant drug-taking behavior are also offered. Part 2, which will appear in the next issue of ONCOLOGY, will discuss the clinical management of cancer patients with a history of substance abuse.
Control Research, Indiana Community Cancer Care, Indianapolis, USA.