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Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management

Often called the Orange Book, this is guidance for clinicians treating people with drug problems. These guidelines are intended primarily for clinicians providing drug treatment for people who misuse or are dependent on drugs. Clinicians in this context are psychiatrists and other doctors, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, keyworkers and other workers providing drug treatment, as well as health and social care professionals who provide limited periods of support for the treatment of drug misuse and dependence (such as during hospitalisations). The guidelines will also be useful to those commissioning drug treatment and to those considering or undergoing drug treatment, their family, friends and carers.

This 2017 version offers new guidelines on:

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

The new guidelines also have a stronger emphasis on recovery and a holistic approach to the interventions that can support recovery.

Read Guidelines