Environmental Scan for Managing Unhealthy Alcohol Use – Final Report


Unhealthy alcohol use (UAU) is the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the United States, yet most patients who need support for UAU are not clinically identified, and over 90 percent of adults with alcohol use disorder (AUD) do not receive treatment. AHRQ’s EvidenceNOW: Managing Unhealthy Alcohol Use Initiative, has released a final environmental scan (e-scan) report and searchable collection of 590 promising practices, strategies, and materials to identify and manage UAU in primary care settings. This valuable database includes seven categories of tools and resources: 

  1. Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), such as the SBIRT Integrated Screening Tool, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s Symptom Checklist, and the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Addressing Alcohol Use Practice Manual.
  2. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), such as AHRQ’s FAQ and Overview of Medications Used in the Treatment of Alcohol Use for primary care physicians, and American Society of Addiction Medicine’s Reimbursement for Medications for Addiction Treatment Toolkit.
  3. Primary Care and Behavioral Health Services Integration, such as the American Medical Association’s Compendium of Behavioral Health Integration Resources for physician practices.
  4. Quality Improvement and Implementation Science, such as AHRQ’s Practice Facilitation Training Modules and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s Change Package for Advancing Trauma-Informed Primary Care.
  5. Electronic Health Record (EHR) Systems and Related Integration, such as SBIRT Oregon’s Optimizing the EHR to Support SBIRT slide deck.
  6. UAU General Resources, such as the World Health Organization’s Alcohol and COVID-19: What You Need to Know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Addressing Excessive Alcohol Use: State Fact Sheets, and National Clinician Consultation Center’s Substance Use Warmline / National Clinician Consultation Center.
  7. Telehealth Resources, such as National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s Best Practices for Telehealth During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission’s 2020 Changes in Medicaid Telehealth Policies Due to COVID-19 and HRSA’s Tele-Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.