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Teenage Girl Visits Doctor's Office

CDC promotes two strategies to reduce the number of alcohol-exposed pregnancies.

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 to help staff in primary care practices plan and implement alcohol SBI to reduce alcohol use. The guide also presents information on risky alcohol use and how it can be addressed through alcohol SBI.

CHOICES is an evidence-based counseling intervention for non-pregnant women that helps them reduce or stop their drinking, use contraception effectively, or both. CDC funds two training and technical assistance centers that work with primary care clinics to implement alcohol SBI and CHOICES in American Indian communities.