The working party was set up in November 1981 to review current senior registrar training in alcoholism and drug dependence, and to make recommendations for the future. It sought the views of all known consultants in alcoholism and drug dependence, and their present and past senior registrars. Attention to this question is justified for the following reasons. First, the Manpower Working Party's report, Medical Manpower in the Psychiatric Specialties (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1982), has recommended that the average District (i.e. a population of 200,000) should allocate about four consultant sessions to the ‘dependencies', such sessions being provided by general psychiatrists with a special interest in alcohol or drug dependence or both. Secondly, appropriately trained applicants are needed for vacancies which occur in the existing regional and sub-regional alcoholism treatment units and drug dependence clinics. Thirdly, the Treatment and Rehabilitation Working Group of the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is likely to recommend an increase in the number of consultants specializing in drug dependence.
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