Finding the Best Resources for Patients Who Misuse Alcohol or Drugs


Due to the increased prevalence of substance abuse and misuse, CDPHP is taking steps to work with you to initiate and engage members in care. Many people who misuse alcohol and other drugs disclose their substance use concerns to their health care providers. If you determine your patient needs help, please make a referral to a local substance abuse program. (You can use CDPHP® Find-A-Doc to find in-network programs in your area.) In the Capital Region, Conifer Park, SPARC, and Senior Hope are among the treatment facilities most often selected for referral.

The following recommendations may be helpful to you in managing such patients:

  • Use the CAGE-AID (CAGE Adapted to Include Drugs) to screen for drug use in your patients.
  • Use the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) to screen for alcohol issues, or use the first three quantity/frequency questions from AUDIT, supplemented by the CAGE questionnaire.
  • Do not rely on patients to follow through on their own. When you determine that abuse of alcohol or another drug has had a negative impact on your patient’s health, proactively arrange a follow-up visit.
  • Ask the patient to complete an Authorization to Release Health Information or Exchange of Information form and file it with CDPHP. These forms allow us to communicate with you regarding a member’s substance abuse care, and allows the member’s treatment team to communicate with one another.
  • Confirm that you are using the appropriate diagnosis and billing codes. It is important to document the pattern of use for alcohol and other drugs. The hierarchy is use, abuse, and dependence.

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please read the comment policy.

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>