Palliative care for substance misusers

Chris Farnham

in Death, Dying, and Social Differences

Second edition

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599295
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731532 | DOI:
Palliative care for substance misusers

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There is a growing awareness that palliative care as defined by the World Health Organization is applicable as a practice to many more fields than had previously been recognized. Services now see patients with a wide variety of diagnoses and from a widening spectrum of society bringing a new set of palliative challenges. These challenges can present both pharmacologically and organizationally. This chapter explores the evidence and practice of working with patients who have a substance misuse history and considers the specific palliative care needs of this group. Substances that are misused are many and varied and vary between countries and continents. Much of the research in this field comes specifically from a North American context and ignores emerging nations. It might be argued that as societies become more industrialized, so the influx of substances misused will change to mirror those seen in Western societies. There is little in the way of evidence based practice for palliative care and its use and delivery to this group.

Keywords: palliative care; end of life care; drug users; substance abuse

Chapter.  4643 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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