Bookmark and Share
Share

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

HOW TO CONDUCT A BRIEF INTERVENTION

FOR ALCOHOL USE DISORDERS (abuse or dependence)

STEP 3 Advise and Assist

  • State your conclusion and recommendation clearly and relate them to medical concerns or findings.
  • Negotiate a drinking goal.
  • Consider evaluation by an addiction specialist.
  • Consider recommending a mutual help group.
  • For patients who have dependence, consider
    • the need for medically managed withdrawal (detoxification) and treat accordingly.
    • prescribing a medication for alcohol dependence for patients who endorse abstinence as a goal.
  • Arrange followup appointments.

STEP 4 At Followup: Continue Support

REMINDER: Document alcohol use and review goals at each visit.
Was the patient able to meet and sustain drinking goal?
No or Yes
No
Arrow pointing down
Yes
Arrow pointing down
  • Acknowledge that change is difficult.
  • Support efforts to cut down or abstain.
  • Relate drinking to ongoing problems as appropriate.
  • Consider (if not yet done):
    • consulting with an addiction specialist.
    • recommending a mutual help group.
    • engaging significant others.
    • prescribing a medication for alcohol dependent patients who endorse abstinence as a goal.
  • Address coexisting disorders as needed.
  • Reinforce and support continued adherence.
  • Coordinate care with specialists as appropriate.
  • Maintain medications for alcohol dependence for at least 3 months and as clinically indicated thereafter.
  • Treat coexisting nicotine dependence.
  • Address coexisting disorders as needed.

top

Previous | Table of Contents | Next