New Guide Helps Trauma Centers Identify And Treat Problem Drinking

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A new guide helps health care professionals incorporate substance abuse treatment into trauma care.

Because excessive drinking is a risk factor for injuries and nearly half of trauma center patients can test positive for alcohol, centers need a strategy for dealing with hazardous drinking behavior. Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) for Trauma Patients: Committee on Trauma Quick Guide helps trauma centers understand how substance abuse treatment can fit into their routine care.

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Trauma center staff will learn about a variety of screening methods to identify problem drinking and how to address the needs of patients who still have enough control over their drinking that they can be motivated to cut down or quit.

A collaborative effort for SAMHSA with the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the guide represents a significant milestone in efforts to integrate substance abuse treatment with primary and general care.

Although the guide is aimed at Level I and Level II trauma centers, smaller trauma centers, emergency rooms, clinics and primary care physicians will also find screening methods and intervention scenarios that they can incorporate.

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