Clinician’s Guide: Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much

by Annette Burns on January 17, 2011

Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much – A Clinician's Guide, published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, can be helpful to non-clinicians (yes, including attorneys) in dealing with this issue in custody/ parenting time cases.   Drinking to excess, or allegations of it, comes up in numerous divorce/ post-divorce cases.  While the Guide is written for primary care and mental health clinicians, it offers good definitions of "how much is too much", why and how to screen for heavy drinking, and offers a number of resources for follow-up information.

I don't suggest that attorneys or non-medical personnel should be doing the screening for alcohol issues, but the Guide includes strategies for discussions with a potential over-user, suggestions for support for someone trying to quit or cut down, and basic definitions for "what is a standard drink" as well as general drinking patterns in the United States.  It also includes "Strategies for Cutting Down" and an extensive bibliography.  The Guide can also be uploaded here: Download CliniciansGuideClientsWhoDrink


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