Screening and behavioral treatments
Screening and brief intervention: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that primary care clinicians (1) conduct alcohol screening in adults aged 18 years or older and (2) provide brief behavioral counseling interventions for the full range of unhealthy drinking behaviors, from risky drinking to alcohol dependence. The USPSTF concludes that brief behavioral counseling interventions reduce heavy drinking episodes and increase adherence to recommended drinking limits.
Additional behavioral treatments: For some students, brief counseling sessions may not be sufficient for resolving drinking problems. In these cases, more intensive behavioral treatments can be beneficial, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy. Ultimately, choosing to get treatment may be more important than the approach used, provided it avoids heavy confrontation and incorporates empathy, motivational support, and a focus on changing drinking behavior.
These interventions are important for students whose drinking patterns put them at risk for harm, or who are already experiencing alcohol-related problems. Health care professionals in your campus health and counseling centers can help you identify these students, or residence hall or security staff members may bring students with alcohol-related conduct violations to your attention.
These strategies were not rated relative to other individual-level strategies in CollegeAIM because of differences in research populations, along with wide variations in costs and barriers to providing these services across campuses.
Effectiveness: = Not rated by CollegeAIM
Cost: = Not rated
Barriers: = Not rated
Primary Modality: In-person individual/offsite
Public Health Outreach: = Not rated
Research Amount: = Not rated
NIAAA, Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help (2014)
NIAAA, Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician’s Guide and Related Professional Support Resources (2005)
NIAAA, Video Cases: Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Alcohol Misuse: Screening and Behavioral Counseling Interventions in Primary Care (2013)
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment,SBIRT Core Training Program: Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment
Campus example: Schaus JF, Sole ML, McCoy TP, Mullett N, & O’Brien MC. Alcohol screening and brief intervention in a college student health center: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs Supplement, 16:131‒41, 2009.
The “Interventions delivered by health professionals” were not rated relative to other individual-level strategies in CollegeAIM because of differences in research populations, along with wide variations in costs and barriers to providing these services across campuses.
Instead, they are included in CollegeAIM based on
(1) The recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that “clinicians screen adults aged 18 years or older for alcohol misuse and provide persons engaged in risky or hazardous drinking with brief behavioral counseling interventions to reduce alcohol misuse,”
(2) Approval of three medications for alcohol use disorder by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and
(3) Recommendations in NIAAA’s Clinician’s Guide, “Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much.”
See Potential Resources for support in providing these and other interventions, or referrals when needed