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Clinical Guidance

Updated Clinical Guidelines

The 2017 update to Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management (often called the orange book) provides authoritative advice on how clinicians across the UK should treat people presenting with problems of drug misuse and dependence.

The updated guidelines endorse much of the previous 2007 guidelines, which were themselves based in part on NICE guidance that has not changed. But there is a stronger emphasis on recovery and on a holistic approach to the issues and interventions that can support recovery.

Key additions and reinforced messages for 2017 include:

  • incorporation of clinical guidance on prison-based treatment
  • new psychoactive substances and club drugs
  • mental health co-morbidity
  • misuse of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines
  • smoking cessation
  • preventing drug-related deaths, including naloxone provision

A package of PHE-supported implementation will be delivered following publication.

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