In the Clinic is a monthly feature in Annals of Internal Medicine introduced in January 2007 that focuses on practical management of patients with common clinical conditions. It offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about screening, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and patient education and provides physicians with tools to improve the quality of care.
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Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and its harms are well established. Physicians have more evidence-based resources than ever before to effectively treat smoking, including new uses and combinations of U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved pharmacotherapies and expanded community programs. In addition, electronic nicotine delivery systems are potential treatment tools, but their safety and efficacy need to be established. Finally, high-priority groups, such as persons with cancer diagnoses or hospitalized patients, may benefit from particular attention to their tobacco use.
Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a treatable chronic disorder with episodes of remission and recurrence characterized by loss of control of opioid use, compulsive use, and continued use despite harms. If untreated, OUD is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Buprenorphine and methadone reduce fatal and nonfatal opioid overdose and infectious complications of OUD and are the first-line treatment options. Physicians have an important role to play in diagnosing OUD and its comorbidities, offering evidence-based treatment, and delivering overdose prevention and other harm reduction services to people who continue to use opioids. Interdisciplinary office-based addiction treatment programs support high-quality OUD care.