Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Addiction Science & Clinical Practice and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Other Drugs (INEBRIA) Meeting 2011

Open Access Meeting abstract

Screening procedures to identify problematic substance use in medical emergency department patients

Michael Bogenschutz1*, Dennis Donovan2, Cameron Crandall3, Robert Lindblad4, Raul Mandler5, Harold Perl6 and Alyssa Forcehimes7

  • * Corresponding author: Michael Bogenschutz

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

2 Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

3 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

4 EMMES Corporation, Rockville, MD, USA

5 Center for Clinical Trials Network, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD, USA

6 Department of Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD, USA

7 Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Addiction Science & Clinical Practice 2012, 7(Suppl 1):A79  doi:10.1186/1940-0640-7-S1-A79


The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.ascpjournal.org/content/7/S1/A79


Published:9 October 2012

© 2012 Bogenschutz et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Meeting abstract

Little is known about optimal screening processes for brief intervention (BI) targeting substances other than alcohol and nicotine. An ongoing multi-site trial conducted through the National Institute on Drug Abuse-Clinical Trials Network (NIDA-CTN) investigates the effectiveness of BI for people who use drugs (with or without alcohol use) presenting to medical emergency departments (EDs). Here we describe the screening procedures and present preliminary data on the screening process and characteristics of participants enrolled in the trial. Following triage, patients are selected through ED tracking logs, and demographic information, triage level, and presenting complaint are recorded. Patients are then invited to complete screening with an instrument including four tobacco screening questions, the three consumption questions of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C), and the 10-item Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST). A DAST score of three or more plus past 30-day use of the primary problem substance are required for enrollment. During the first six months of recruitment, a total of 5713 patients were selected for possible screening; 3731 completed screening, and 343 were randomized (6% of all selected). The sample is 64% male with a mean age of 39 (± 12), and is racially and ethnically diverse. Only 2% are college graduates, 9% are married, 10% have full-time jobs, and 79% have household incomes under $15,000. The most common primary drugs of abuse were cannabis (33%, used on an average of 18 out of the past 30 days), cocaine (26%, use on and average of 9 of the past 30 days), street opioids (26%, used on an average of 19 of the past 30 days), prescription opioids (6%, used on an average of 18 of the past 30 days), and methamphetamine (6%, used on an average of 7 of the past 30 days). Six percent of those selected for screening and 9% of those screened were enrolled in the study. Baseline data indicate that the screening procedures identified people with problems in multiple life domains who had heavy use of several types of drugs.