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Drug abuse and misuse: a community pharmacy perspective.


Glenda F Hughes

Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

The thesis considers the role of the community pharmacist in relation to drug abuse and misuse with a focus on over-the-counter (OTC) products. Few pharmacists in Ireland are currently providing services for illicit drug users. Surveys distributed to pharmacists and GPs indicated that they had encountered OTC abuse in practice and identified the products involved. Methods for dealing with cases of OTC abuse were reported. Theses were limited and were unlikely to prove effective in the longer term. The author developed a model for the identification and treatment of TCD abuse for use by community pharmacists, in conjunction with other healthcare professionals. The model was piloted by two community pharmacists. Each pharmacist identified clients suspecting of abusing OTC products and attempted to recruit and treat these individuals according to the study protocol. Some success was noted with treatment participants, with clients agreeing to stop using the products and/ or to try safer alternatives. As anticipated, some difficulties were encountered and strategies for improving the model have been recommended. Overall, the results indicate that pharmacists are willing to provide services to drug users if illicit drug abuse escalates in Northern Ireland. Pharmacists are further willing to contribute to the identification and treatment of clients who are abusing drugs. Steps should be taken to overcome the barriers presently impeding full participation in these areas of care.



Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Glenda F Hughes. (2000) Drug abuse and misuse: a community pharmacy perspective. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26th August 2019].


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