Referral to treatment can be a complex process involving coordination across different types of services and is recommended when patients meet the diagnostic criteria for substance dependence or other mental illnesses as defined by the DSM-IV. Referral requires the primary care system to establish new and complex linkages with the traditional specialty care system to connect clients who score in the problematic range to recognized, evidence-based treatment. Although only 3% to 4% of screened patients in primary care settings typically need to be referred, the absence of a proper treatment referral will prevent the patient from accessing appropriate and timely care that can impact other psycho-social and medical issues.


Geneva Sanford, MSW, LSW, LICDC has primarily worked in formalized treatment programs prior to joining Grant’s Trauma Program in October, 2007. She is a member of the Prescription Drug Abuse Action Group under the Ohio Department of Health where she chairs the Education of Health Care Providers committee.

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