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Smoking, alcohol, and drug misuse

Alcohol misuse: how to help patients in primary care

Approximately one in five New Zealanders over the age of 15 years drinks in a way that is hazardous to their health. Counselling... View Article

May 2016

Managing frequently encountered mental health problems in young people: non-pharmacological strategies

Young people experience a variety of mental health conditions. For patients with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, a stepped... View Article

December 2015

Addressing mental health and wellbeing in young people

This is the first of a series of articles which will examine the diverse theme of mental health in young people. Adolescence is... View Article

October 2015

Smoking cessation - helping patients stick with it, until they quit

Nicotine addiction is a disorder that should be considered at every patient contact. All patients who smoke should be encouraged... View Article

October 2015

Essentials for people with COPD

The interventions with the greatest potential to prevent further deterioration in patients with COPD are: View Article

March 2015

Overuse of benzodiazepines: still an issue?

Benzodiazepines may be considered as a short-term treatment for insomnia and anxiety; zopiclone, a benzodiazepine-like medicine,... View Article

March 2015

Research updates

Shorter courses of oral corticosteroids for the management of exacerbations in patients with COPD | Diet and the risk of COPD View Article

March 2015

Identifying and managing addiction to opioids

The increased use of opioid analgesics in recent years, particularly oxycodone, has resulted in misuse and addiction issues associated... View Article

October 2014

Smoking cessation beyond the ABC: Tailoring strategies to high-risk groups

Smoking rates are declining in New Zealand as more and more people are successfully quitting. However, rates remain unacceptably... View Article

October 2014

Upfront: “A disaster in the making”: it’s time to take action against misuse of oxycodone

Dr Jeremy McMinn is a consultant psychiatrist and addiction specialist at Capital & Coast DHB. He is also the Co-Chair of the... View Article

June 2014

The elite athlete-patient: a fresh clinical challenge

Associate Professor David Gerrard is a sports physician at the Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago. He gives an insight... View Article

October 2013

Smoking prevention and cessation in adolescents: Changing futures, saving lives

On average, New Zealanders who smoke try their first cigarette between the ages of 11 and 12 years. There are large ethnic disparities... View Article

June 2013

Encouraging smoke-free pregnancies: the role of primary care

One in ten New Zealand women smoke during pregnancy and this figure is significantly higher among Māori and women living in lower... View Article

February 2013

Update on oxycodone: what can primary care do about the problem?

The volume of oxycodone prescribed in New Zealand is continuing to rise, despite efforts to encourage clinicians to use this medicine... View Article

May 2012

Diagnosis and management of COPD in Māori and Pacific peoples

COPD disproportionately affects Māori and Pacific peoples in New Zealand. It is essential that people most at risk of COPD... View Article

April 2012

PHO Performance Programme - six years on

The PHO Performance Programme was established in 2005 to improve the health of people enrolled in general practices in New Zealand... View Article

December 2011

Smoking status and cessation support

The PHO Performance Programme aims to improve health and reduce disparities among people using primary healthcare services in... View Article

November 2011

News in brief: Varenicline: amendments to Special Authority funding

Brief details on Varenicline use and changes to the special authority funding criteria. View Article

August 2011

The fear of enabling; misuse of prescription medicines

Misuse of prescription opioids is increasing worldwide and many doctors are becoming reluctant to prescribe these medicines for... View Article

June 2011

Oxycodone use still increasing

Oxycodone is a strong opioid used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain in people for whom morphine is not tolerated or... View Article

June 2011

The nutritional management of unintentional weight loss in people with COPD

People with COPD are generally underweight, have reduced muscle mass and are often malnourished, leading to other health problems.... View Article

May 2011

News in brief

Changes to nicotine replacement therapy prescriptions | Topical acne treatment adapalene now fully funded | Escitalopram and sertraline... View Article

February 2011

Update on smoking cessation

The rate of smoking among New Zealanders is slowly declining, however, more work needs to be done to further reduce this number.... View Article

December 2010

Investigation of hazardous drinking

Approximately 20–25% of New Zealanders consume alcohol at a harmful or hazardous level, however, these problems will remain undetected... View Article

November 2010

Substance misuse and addiction in Māori

It is estimated that substance misuse and other addictions are experienced by over one quarter of Māori in their lifetime.... View Article

June 2010

Smoking related cancer morbidity and mortality

The majority of people with cancer will initially present to general practice, therefore GPs have an excellent opportunity to... View Article

December 2009

Nicotine replacement therapy prescription changes

Details of changes to the funding/availability of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) from the 1st September 2009. View Article

November 2009

Management of acute exacerbations of COPD in primary care

An update on COPD; acute exacerbations management, adapted from COPD-X Guidelines; April 2009 revision There is newer/updated... View Article

September 2009

Free smoking cessation training for health professionals

Akoranga aukati kai paipaA brief overview of how and where to obtain smoking cessation training View Article

July 2009

Smoking cessation for Māori

Te aukatinga kai paipa Encouraging Māori who smoke to stop is a key health priority. The more times smoking cessation advice... View Article

July 2009

Getting the most out of nicotine replacement therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is not a magic cure but it is effective for smoking cessation when used correctly. It is important... View Article

April 2009

Smoking cessation - Pharmacological therapy

Nicotine replacement therapy, nortriptyline, bupropion and varenicline are all effective aids for smoking cessation. These pharmacological... View Article

April 2009

The social responsibility of smokers

While people continue to smoke, they must be aware of the health risk they pose to others. Second hand smoke is considered a significant... View Article

April 2009

Why people smoke

There are many reasons why people begin smoking, continue to smoke and find it hard to quit. Clinicians who want to discourage... View Article

February 2009

Anticholinergics for COPD

Two recent studies have raised concern that the use of ipratropium and tiotropium for COPD is associated with an increased risk... View Article

December 2008

The science behind lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease

When advice is provided to patients about reducing cardiovascular risk, lifestyle advice is usually discussed first. The mechanisms... View Article

December 2008

Prescription drug misuse: how to identify and manage drug seekers

Although an increasing problem in general practice, identifying drug seekers is not always simple. GPs should routinely screen... View Article

September 2008

The nutritional management of weight loss in COPD

People with COPD are generally underweight, have reduced muscle mass and are often malnourished, leading to other health problems.... View Article

August 2008

Snippets: Varenicline & Smoking

Varenicline and suicidal behaviour. Wider access to quit cards.The lung age of smokers. View Article

May 2008

COPD in primary care: reminder and update

Managing COPD continues to be a major feature of primary care, particularly in practices with a high proportion of Māori... View Article

December 2007

Update of New Zealand smoking cessation guideline

The recently overhauled New Zealand smoking cessation guideline is well presented and contains important new messages. The guideline... View Article

December 2007

Best tests: Liver function testing

A summary of Liver function testing in primary care including:
• Questionaires are better then blood tests when screening for...
View Article

August 2007

Dear Dave

Can smoking cessation affect the dose of antipsychotics?Do statins cause nightmares?How important is it to give simvastatin at... View Article

February 2007

COPD update

Tiotropium is an effective option | Long acting beta agonists | Inhaled corticosteroids | Exercise | Should an anticholinergic... View Article

October 2006

COPD Practice Nurses Guide

A guide for practice nurses on COPD covering spirometry, smoking cessation and rehabilitation. View Article

May 2005

COPD POEM

The aim of these POEMs is to increase the safety and effectiveness of treatment for people with COPD by promoting primary care... View Article

April 2005

Non-evidential laboratory testing for drug use in adolescents

On occasion, an adolescent may present at their general practice with instructions to undergo a drug test – usually due to concerns... View Article

March 2012

Substance misuse in adolescents: alcohol, cannabis & other drugs

The risk of injury or death during adolescence is two to three times higher than it is during childhood. The main reason for this... View Article

February 2012