Drug abuse is a growing problem in Washington State where it is estimated that almost
12% of teens use medicines for non-medical reasons.1 The Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy
works with prescribers to help ensure that their patients receive the right medicine
at the right time. This one-on-one counseling at the pharmacy entails observed administration
of disulfiram (Antabuse®) or buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®). Pharmacists at
the Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy find it rewarding to play a small part in assisting
patients go from chemical dependence to individual independence as they make positive
changes in their lives.
Antabuse® Direct Observation Program
Patients are prescribed disulfiram (Antabuse®) to maintain alcohol abstinence.
In order to ensure patient compliance with the treatment regimen, it is often prescribed
to be taken under the direct observation of a health care provider or other care
taker. At the Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy there are private counseling rooms where
a program patient meets with a pharmacist who administers the medication and gives
counsel about the treatment regimen. The encounter is documented in the clinic-based
electronic health record for patient and provider convenience.
Suboxone® Counseling Program
Pharmacists at the Tulalip Clinical Pharmacy play an important role in these programs
that are set up by the health care providers. When patients receive Suboxone®
treatment to assist their efforts in quitting a dependency on a substance they
receive private one-on-one counseling. In these regular counseling sessions with
the pharmacist the treatment plan will be discussed, and patients receive encouragement
and positive reinforcement for changing their lives.
- Data compilation from: Washington State Department of Health,
Office of the Department of Commerce, Family Policy Council and Liquor Control Board
(2010). Washington State Healthy Youth Survey 2008 Analytic Report. January 2010.
Available online at:
www.doh.wa.gov; United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Office of Applied Studies (2008). State
Estimates of Substance Use from the 2004-2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.