Early Screening, Interventions & Referral
While education can increase knowledge and raise awareness, evidence verifies that educational programs alone are not likely to lead to behavior change. Behavior change is a much more difficult challenge with evidence now supporting early screening and personalized interventions are most effective in behavior change. Since the AODE is located at the student health center, opportunities exist to better coordinate care using the paradigm of case management for students. Substance use/misuse is strongly intertwined with other medical conditions, making an integrated approach to care essential.
Early screening is not focused on looking for addiction but identifying students who are “at risk” in their use of alcohol and other drugs. Once screened, the focus becomes determination of the appropriate level of intervention. College student who could benefit from AODE services often do not receive them due to low self-recognition of their problems. In order to provide the best care possible, we ask EVERYONE about alcohol.
Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, AUDIT, is a screening tool containing brief questions developed by the World Health Organization and specifically designed to be used in primary care to distinguish among low-risk, harmful, or dependent use. The AUDIT provides health care providers with an opportunity to implement a brief motivational intervention for the college students to reduce problem drinking, excessive drinking, and binge drinking. This personalized intervention can enhance motivation to change, promote healthier choices, and teach coping skills to decrease drinking.
Lafene Health Center collaborates with a number of community and state agencies to refer as appropriate when specialized care is needed for K-State students. The goal of any referral is to assure that the patient contacts a specialist for further diagnosis, and if required, receives treatment. Referral to community services for students whose substance use has reached a serious level of addiction and/or dependence might include the following:
- Levels of care including detoxification, outpatient, day treatment and residential programs
- Connections for mental health providers to address co-occurring disorders
- Halfway houses and group homes for patients in need of living arrangements
- Local mutual self-help groups, individual counselors and other supportive community services