Submitted by krice on Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:15

Patients with this result are at high risk for adverse outcomes related to alcohol use and are highly likely to meet DSM-5 criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder.

Display Title
Alcohol Risk Level: High Risk for Alcohol Use Disorder
Tool Type
Drugs of Abuse
Risk Level
Additional Resources

Alcohol Use Resources

General Resources

Suggested Action

The suggested intervention for this risk level is to confirm diagnosis through a clinical interview using the DSM-5 Alcohol Use Disorder criteria as a guide.  

  • Express concern and recommend cessation; 
  • Use the FRAMES components and motivational interviewing techniques (see references for specific resources) to encourage engagement in treatment.
  • Consider prescribing medications to treat moderate to severe alcohol use disorder. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for treating alcohol dependence: Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram.
  • Make a specific plan, including strategies for reducing the health consequences of alcohol use.
    • For patients who are ready to quit, assess risk for withdrawal, and link to detox as indicated.
  • Provide on-site counseling or a referral for off-site counseling and/or support group to complement medication treatment.
  • Assess and manage any co-occurring problems, such as pain and depression, that may be impacting alcohol use.
  • Review any prescribed medications to identify those that when combined with alcohol may increase the risk of overdose (opioids, benzodiazepines).
    • Educate patient on risks associated with combining alcohol with other drugs.
  • Advise not to use alcohol and drive.
  • Arrange follow-up.