01.05.2012 Addiction medicine: networks support family doctors

Networks. Quitting smoking, alcohol withdrawal, prescription of methadone: family doctors are often the first, and also the most important, professionals that addiction patients turn to for help. Collège romand de médicine de l’addiction (COROMA), Addiction Medicine Forum Eastern Switzerland (FOSUMOS) and Addiction Medicine Forum Central Switzerland (FOSUMIS) are networks that were set up to help family doctors professionalise and facilitate their work with addiction patients.

Pictures Addiction medicine: networks support family doctors

TODO CHRISTIAN

he overriding goal of these regional networks is to boost the addiction-medicine skills of primary healthcare providers in order to meet the needs of addiction patients and their relatives more effectively. A further goal is to increase interdisciplinary cooperation between primary healthcare providers and addiction specialists and other professionals whose work brings them into contact with people who suffer from addictions. They include psychiatrists, pharmacists and prison medical officers, but also non-medical personnel such as social workers and psychologists. The networks also cultivate close contacts with psychiatric clinics, university hospitals and addiction-medicine outpatient clinics.

Manual on working with addiction patients
In 2011, the three networks COROMA, FOSUMOS and FOSUMIS, and the Ticino Addiction federation, joined forces to form the “IG Netzwerk Praxis Suchtmedizin”, an interest group of Swiss networks working in the field of addiction medicine, and to go online with a shared website:  www.praxis-suchtmedizin.ch. The main service is an online manual that is aimed chiefly at primary healthcare providers but also at prison medical officers and emergency units. It contains answers to such questions as: what do I do with a heroin-dependent patient who asks for methadone treatment? How do I handle patients with an alcohol problem, or concerned parents whose child smokes pot? The manual offers a wide range of practical tools such as action recommendations, algorithms, addresses, checklists, forms, texts of laws and a lot more besides. The German version of the manual comprises seven chapters on the subjects of alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, designer drugs, medicines, heroin and cocaine. Only the chapter on heroin is currently available online in French and Italian. The other chapters are in the process of being translated. The networks are financed by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the cantons.

COROMA (Collège romand de médicine de l’addiction)

Network set up by the French-speaking cantons
Established: 2001
Main services:
– Manual on addiction medicine in Swiss practice, available at www.praticien-addiction.ch
– Annual congress (“Journées COROMA”)
– Regional discussion groups
– Specialist publications
– Training and continuing education
www.romandieaddiction.ch

FOSUMOS (Addiction Medicine Forum Eastern Switzerland)

Network set up by the cantons of St Gallen (SG), Graubünden (GR), Glarus (GL), Thurgau (TG) and Appenzell Ausserrhoden (AR) and Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI), and the Principality of Liechtenstein
Established: 2003
Main services:
– Manual on addiction medicine in Swiss practice,available at www.praxis-suchtmedizin.ch
– Regional discussion groups on addiction-medicine topics
– Provision of information by e-mail on addiction-medicine questions
– Training and continuing education
www.fosumos.ch

FOSUMIS (Addiction Medicine Forum Central Switzerland)

Network set up by the cantons of Lucerne (LU), Nidwalden (NW), Obwalden (OW), Schwyz (SZ),Uri (UR) and Zug (ZG)
Established: 2010
Main services:
– Manual on addiction medicine in Swiss practice, available at www.praxis-suchtmedizin.ch
– Regional discussion groups on addiction-medicine topics
– Provision of information by e-mail on addiction-medicine questions
www.fosumis.ch

Contact

René Stamm, Drugs Section, rene.stamm@bag.admin.ch

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