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Conn Med. 1997 Sep;61(9):565-75.

Alcohol screening and brief intervention: where research meets practice.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, USA.


Numerous studies have consistently shown that quick screening instruments can identify people whose drinking is likely to present health risks and that low-cost, brief interventions are effective in reducing drinking among many such at-risk drinkers. This article describes the results of a one-year policy analysis that explored how alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) can be moved to widespread clinical applications in the United States. It introduces the concept of risky drinking and considers the potential of this new technology to reduce it. The research evidence behind this approach is reviewed, and a description of current programs in this and other countries beginning to apply SBI is provided. Economic issues attendant to applications are identified and discussed. The potential for applications in health care is analyzed and summary conclusions from market research are set forth. Recommendations are offered for immediate action.

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