Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician's Guide, 2005 Edition


Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician's Guide, 2005 Edition


This 40-page guide, written for primary care and mental health clinicians, provides information for incorporating alcohol screening and intervention into clinical practice. The guide addresses two methods for screening: a single question (about heavy drinking days) to be used during a clinical interview and a written self-report instrument.

This guide addresses the following topics:

  • Introduction
  • What’s the same, what’s new in the 2005 update
  • Before you begin
  • How to help patients who drink too much: A clinical approach
    • Step 1: Ask about alcohol use
    • Step 2: Assess for alcohol use disorders
    • Step 3: Advise and assist
      • At-risk drinking
      • Alcohol use disorders
    • Step 4: At followup: Continue support
      • At-risk drinking
      • Alcohol use disorders
  • Appendix
    • Clinician support materials
      • Screening instrument: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
      • Prescribing medications for alcohol dependence
      • Supporting patients who take medications for alcohol dependence
      • Medication management support for alcohol dependence
      • Referral resources
    • Patient education materials
    • Online materials for clinicians and patients
    • Frequently asked questions


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Funding Sources:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; National Institutes of Health


Release Date: 2003
Review Date: 2007
Recent Summary: March 2008
Original Summary: January 2004
Last Updated: 04/11/08

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