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Substance Abuse Screening Tools

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, nearly one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 are classified with substance abuse or dependence. As a healthcare professional, you play a key role in talking to patients about their overall healthcare, which should include discussing use of drugs or alcohol. There are a variety of screening tools which can easily be included in an overall health assessment to determine if a person's alcohol or drug use is an issue that should be addressed by professional treatment.

Screenings Make A Difference

National researchers have determined with a ranking of 25 preventive services recommended by the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) based on clinically preventable burden and cost effectiveness found that alcohol screening and intervention rated at the same level as colorectal cancer screening/treatment and hypertension screening/ treatment.*

Screening Tools

Screening and brief intervention may be provided in an office, emergency department or an inpatient visit and is a reimbursable service. There are several proven tools which can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences:

    Screening & Brief Intervention

    - May be provided in an office, emergency department or inpatient visit for both new and established patients.

    - Virtually all payers use the American Medical Association's Evaluation and Management (E & M) CPT codes to pay physicians' services.*

    - Many payers reimburse for independent licensed health practitioners such as advance practice nurses, psychologists, and masters- level social workers.

    *varies by screening tools used.
  • CAGE Assessment
    With 4 questions, this simple test has proven accurate in identifying usage patterns that may reflect problems with alcohol abuse.
  • Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
    More detailed than the CAGE assessment; includes 10 questions that screen for hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption.
  • Drug Abuse Screening Test 10 (DAST)
    Provides a brief, simple, practical, but valid method for identifying individuals who are abusing psychoactive drugs; and yields a quantitative index score of the degree of problems related to drug use and misuse.
  • Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
    An evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs.

Screenings can help identify possible substance abuse issues and they provide an opportunity to discuss how that behavior puts them at higher risk of infectious diseases, cancer, heart disease and mental health problems including anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Making A Referral

For patients who need help with substance abuse issues, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment offers convenience as an in-network treatment provider with centers located throughout Illinois and the St. Louis Metro East area. Learn more about Making a Referral.

* Maciosek MV, Coffi eld AB, Edwards NM, et al. Priorities among eff ective clinical preventive services: Results of a systematic review and analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2006 Jul; 31(1):52-61.

Gateway Is Here To Help

If your patient is struggling with substance abuse, Gateway Treatment Centers can help.

For more information about Gateway treatment programs, or our confidential consultation, call our 24-hour helpline at 877-505-4673.