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Pocket Guide for Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This document is a pocket guide from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism that provides information on alcohol screening and brief interventions for young people.
This pocket guide is for use by clinicians in conducting alcohol screening and interventions for young people at risk for alcohol abuse. Information is provided on opportunities and indications for screening youth for alcohol use. These opportunities include as part of an annual examination or acute care visit, when seeing patients who are at increased risk for substance abuse or mental health problems, or when seeing patients who have shown substantial behavioral changes. Additional information in the guide discusses what counts as a drink, what counts as a binge, what kind of alcohol kids are drinking now, and the difference between a child-sized binge and a teen-sized binge. The guide lists four basic principles of motivational interviewing when dealing with students at risk of alcohol abuse: express empathy, develop discrepancy, roll with resistance, and support self-efficacy. The guide also provides basic steps for working with youth at risk for alcohol abuse. The steps include questions and strategies for all patients, for those patients who do not drink, and for those patients who do drink.