This course presents screening and brief intervention (SBI), a structured set of questions designed to identify individuals at risk for alcohol use problems, followed by a brief discussion between an individual and service provider. The purpose of the course is 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 stop drinking or reduce their alcohol use to a safe amount.
This manual provides 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. A brief description of the problems associated with alcohol misuse is presented, as are types of alcohol use, value of a public health approach in addressing alcohol problems, history and effectiveness of SBI, and key issues in screening and brief intervention. Guidance is given on choosing a screening tool and conducting screenings. The four main steps in conducting brief interventions are described, including the purpose of each step, what to do, and suggestions for what to say. Also included is information on the most commonly used screening tools, a handout for clients, and a list of additional resources.
This course is based upon material published by the American Public Health Association and is available as an open access article.
This course on alcohol screening and brief intervention is designed for social workers, professional counselors, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work. This course is appropriate for beginning level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of screening and brief intervention for alcohol dependence. The course material includes a review of key issues in screening and brief intervention.
Authors: Anara Guard and Laurie Rosenblum, Health and Human Development Programs, Education Development Center, Inc.
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding alcohol screening and brief intervention. Specifically, a professional will:
• Describe alcohol problems and their impact
• Identify the background and effectiveness of SBI
• Recognize how to use the SBI tool
Citation: American Public Health Association and Education Development Center, Inc. (2008). Alcohol screening and brief intervention: A guide for public health practitioners. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US Department of Transportation.