Practice guidelines in the addictions. Recent Developments

R. Dale Walker, Matthew Owen Howard, Patricia Silk Walker, M. Dow Lambert, Richard Suchinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Consensually established principles of clinical conduct, known variously as practice guidelines, standards, protocols, or algorithms, have proliferated throughout medicine over the past decade. Institutional and disciplinary efforts to develop and promulgate guidelines for the treatment of addictive disorders have recently been initiated. We review guideline development activities of the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Nurses Association, National Association of Social Workers, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Medical care performance and outcome assessments are discussed with attention to the role they can play in evaluating and refining guidelines. Potential effects of guidelines, salutary and deleterious, on clinical practice in the addictions are delineated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • algorithms
  • clinical guidelines
  • clinical protocols
  • practice guidelines
  • practice parameters
  • practice standards
  • substance abuse
  • substance dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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