Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A guide for public health practitioners

Screening and brief intervention (SBI) is a structured set of questions designed to identify individuals at risk for alcohol use problems, followed by a brief discussion between an individual and a service provider, with referral to specialized treatment as needed. This manual is designed to provide public health professionals, such as health educators and community health workers, with the information, skills, and tools needed to conduct SBI so that they can help at-risk drinkers reduce their alcohol use to a safe amount or stop drinking. The manual offers background information and practical steps for conducting SBI in a variety of public health settings, including trauma centers, emergency departments, other clinical settings, home visits, and public events.

Alcohol/Drug Services Case Management/Care Coordination Risk Assessment

CRAFFT Screening Tool

The CRAFFT is a short, validated behavioral health tool developed to screen adolescents under age 21 for high risk alcohol and drug use. Recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it consists of 6 questions involving Car, Relax, Alone, Forget, Friends, and Trouble. The tool is meant to assess whether a longer conversation about the context of use, frequency, and other risks and consequences of alcohol and/or drug use is warranted. It is available in 13 languages.

Alcohol/Drug Services Risk Assessment

ACOG Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Prevention Program

The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Prevention Program is a collaboration between ACOG and the CDC designed to empower healthcare providers to speak with their patients about abstaining from alcohol use during pregnancy. The program includes evidence-based ACOG Committee Opinions regarding ethics, alcohol use in pregnancy, and motivational interviewing techniques, as well as videos and free downloadable materials for both providers and patients.

Alcohol/Drug Services

WINGS (Women Initiating New Goals of Safety)

Failure to address IPV among women who use alcohol or other drugs has been found to increase the likelihood of continued drug use, relapse, attrition from drug treatment and a host of other negative physical and mental health consequences. WINGS is a single-session intervention that aims to address a critical gap in IPV services for women by identifying women in the community at risk of IPV, enabling them to develop social support and safety planning skills to reduce their risks for IPV and linking them to IPV-related services and substance use treatment. The intervention may be delivered in-person or via a computerized self-paced version.

Alcohol/Drug Services Intimate Partner Violence

Social Support Survey Instrument

This brief, self-administered Social Support Survey instrument was developed for patients in the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS), a two-year study of patients with chronic conditions. It is thought to also be appropriate for use with other populations. The instrument was designed to be comprehensive in terms of recent thinking about the various dimensions of social support – emotional/informational, tangible, affectionate, and positive social interaction. It is easy to administer and the items are short, simple, and easy to understand.

Life Course Model Risk Assessment

Everyday Discrimination Tool

There is convincing research evidence that people experiencing greater discrimination in day-to-day life tend to have poorer physical and mental health outcomes than their counterparts. The Everyday Discrimination Scale (EDS) is a validated screen widely used to measure perceived discrimination. An original version of the EDS consists of nine items on a 6-point Likert-type response format, and a short version has been modified to five items.

Life Course Model Risk Assessment

NIDA Quick Screen

The NIDA Quick Screen is a validated instrument designed to assist providers in screening adults for substance use. The screen simply inquires whether a participant has used drugs (mood-altering, illegal, or prescription for nonmedical reasons), alcohol, or tobacco products within the past year and how often these substances have been used. The NIDA website also provides guidelines for brief intervention and/or treatment referral for patients who may have or be at risk of developing a substance use disorder.

Alcohol/Drug Services Risk Assessment Tobacco Cessation

4Ps Plus©

4Ps Plus© is the first validated instrument that has been developed to screen for alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use; depression; and domestic violence, specifically in pregnant women. In addition, brief intervention strategies, grounded in motivational interviewing techniques, are integrated into the screening process. “I am concerned…” is an interactive, multisensory psychoeducational approach that takes about five minutes and is administered to all women who are found through the screening process to be using alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs.

Alcohol/Drug Services Depression Intimate Partner Violence Prenatal Care and Education Risk Assessment Tobacco Cessation


The 4Ps (Parents, Partners, Past and Pregnancy) was developed for use with pregnant women and women of child bearing age. The tool has 4 questions intended to facilitate discussion regarding substance use.

Alcohol/Drug Services

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