Earth to AMA: Substance Use Is Not Social

According to Wikipedia, the social history section of a medical history documented by a physician includes "living arrangements, occupation, marital status, number of children, drug use (including tobacco, alcohol, other recreational drug use), recent foreign travel, and exposure to environmental pathogens through recreational activities or pets."

In learning more about the Current Procedural Terminology published by the American Medical Association I was shocked to discover that even after decades of acceptance of addiction as a disease CPT still relegates this critical element of history to "social," a throwback to the days when physicians minimized use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs by identifying it as a social activity.

Substance use deserves a heading of its own for documenting past, as well as current, drug use, including tobacco and alcohol, including sufficient data to establish presence or absence of a substance use disorder.

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