Researchers Identify Seven Core Evidence Practices for Substance Use Disorders

Consensus building to identify indicators of evidence-based substance abuse treatment

The National Quality Forum (NQF) convened a workshop on December 13, 2004 on evidence-based practices for treating substance use disorders.

The NQF sought to identify and recommend a set of evidence-based treatment practices that should receive the highest priority for widespread implementation.

Key Recommendations

  • Workshop participants identified seven core, evidence-based practices that should receive a high priority for widespread implementation:

    1. Universal screening by a health care provider for alcohol misuse.
    2. Brief intervention for harmful/hazardous users for all patients with a positive screen.
    3. Evidence-based psychosocial treatment interventions for persons with diagnosable conditions.
    4. Active and ongoing consideration of addiction-related pharmacotherapy in the assessment of every patient for alcohol and opioid dependence. This pharmacotherapy should be used in conjunction with psychosocial treatment.
    5. Continual assessment with problem/service matching in specialty settings.
    6. Initial engagement and retention in specialty care, through active outreach, case monitoring, contracting, regular (at least quarterly) follow-up and linkages with primary care.
    7. Ongoing recovery management with a health care provider.