Alcohol Misuse

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) Office Champions Project

Family physicians are in the unique position to address risky alcohol use among women of childbearing age that could lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities. Research shows that alcohol SBI, which includes short counseling sessions, feedback, advice, and goal-setting conducted by healthcare providers, is effective at reducing alcohol misuse among adults, including pregnant women. Based on efficacy and cost effectiveness, alcohol SBI is in the top 10 preventive health services. Yet, alcohol SBI remains one of the least adopted of these evidence-based services. 

The AAFP encourages members, especially those serving a significant number of women of childbearing age, to apply for the Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) Office Champions Project. The project, which will accept up to 25 family medicine practices, aims to increase the use of alcohol SBI within primary care settings, utilizing the office champions model. 

Applications are due August 31, 2019.

Physicians who complete this quality improvement project also will receive Part IV maintenance of certification credit.

The project will focus on the following key steps:

  • Recruit and train up to 25 physician and/or practice champions to improve the delivery of alcohol SBI in women 18-44 years old
  • Lead the charge for reducing rates of risky alcohol use and preventing FASD
  • Integrate alcohol SBI and other system changes into daily office routines  
  • Determine if the new model is effective, successful and sustainable, and eventually offer an effective model for all family physicians

Questions? Please contact Reshana Peterson by email or at 913-906-6103.

Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cooperative agreement number NU84DD000010.

Alcohol misuse is defined as a spectrum of behaviors, including risky (excessive) alcohol use, alcohol abuse, or alcohol dependence. Risky or excessive alcohol use means drinking more than the amount that results in an increased risk of poor health outcomes. It is estimated that among adults in the United States, 58% of men1 and 46% of women2 have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. Risky and excessive alcohol use has resulted in approximately 88,000 deaths in the U.S. from 2006 to 2010.3

Alcohol Practice Manual

Learn how to identify and screen your patients for risky drinking and offer them appropriate treatment.

Training Opportunities

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Training And Resources(nccd.cdc.gov)

These free online trainings provide strategies to improve the delivery of care related to FASDs and their prevention.

Alcohol use in pregnancy is the cause of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), a range of lifelong conditions that include physical and behavioral problems, as well as intellectual disabilities.4 All women of childbearing age should be screened for alcohol use.5 Family physicians should provide brief interventions that include describing the effects of drinking during pregnancy and warning that there are no safe levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.6

Family physicians and other primary care providers are in an ideal position to facilitate the prevention of untimely morbidity and mortality associated with risky alcohol use. The AAFP has a variety of resources to help family physicians with prevention, screening, treatment, and counseling of their patients. These include clinical preventive service recommendations, a preconception care position paper, continuing medical education (CME) courses, journal articles, and a new alcohol intervention manual, Addressing Alcohol Use Practice Manual: An Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Program.(466 KB PDF)

AAFP Resources

AAFP Policies and Recommendations

AAFP Studies and Journal Articles

Training Opportunities

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Training And Resources(nccd.cdc.gov)

These free online trainings provide strategies to improve the delivery of care related to FASDs and their prevention.