Insights into primary care physicians' detection, intervention and management of patients with substance use disorders in Egypt

J Ethn Subst Abuse. 2024 Apr 3:1-19. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2024.2336490. Online ahead of print.


Egypt is experiencing an increasing drug problem (cannabis, heroin, amphetamines, pharmaceutical opioids, synthetic cannabinoids). Whilst harm reduction and addiction treatment are provided by government and non-governmental organizations in Egypt, very little is known about physicians experience of handling patient substance use and substance use disorder (SUD) in primary care. A cross-sectional national study of 392 Egyptian Family Physicians (FPs) & General Practitioners (GPs) explored their knowledge, attitude and professional practice regarding management of SUD in primary care, as a first step toward identifying professional development support needs and informing general practice. Findings underscore the need for greater depth of addiction training during undergraduate medical education and in continuing professional development, so that Egyptian FPs/GPs can better prevent harmful substance use, detect patients with SUD, intervene and support those in treatment. This study provides unique information which will inform further development and scale of evidence based SUD brief intervention and treatment within Egyptian primary care.

Keywords: Egypt; attitude and practices; family physicians/general practitioners; primary care; substance use disorders.