Interventions: FASD Prevention Efforts

A doctor sitting with a young woman for a medical exam

CDC promotes two strategies to reduce alcohol use during pregnancy—alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) and CHOICES. Broadening CDC’s FASD prevention efforts to include both alcohol SBI and CHOICES provides the opportunity to offer both brief and extended intervention options to women of reproductive age as appropriate, and to address excessive alcohol use within the broader context of women’s health.

People report that the drinking behavior of their partner, family members, and friends are strong influences on their alcohol consumption.

Providing alcohol SBI to all individuals might normalize discussion of alcohol use and begin to reduce the stigma associated with getting help.

Alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) is an effective but underused preventive health service recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and covered under the Affordable Care Act. Similar to hypertension or cholesterol screening, alcohol SBI can occur as part of a patient’s wellness visit.

It involves:

  • A validated set of screening questions to identify a patient’s drinking patterns, which takes only a few minutes.
  • A short conversation with patients who are drinking too much, and referral to specialized treatment as appropriate.
  • CDC has developed an Alcohol SBI Implementation Guide [2 MB, 52 Pages, Print Only] to help staff in primary care practices plan and implement alcohol SBI to reduce alcohol use. The guide also presents information on excessive alcohol use and how it can be addressed through alcohol SBI.

CHOICES is an evidence-based counseling intervention (i.e., based on activities that research has shown to be valid and effective) for non-pregnant women that helps them reduce or stop their drinking, use contraception effectively, or both. CHOICES uses motivational interviewing to increase a woman’s motivation and commitment to change.