Assess alcohol use with AUDIT-C: quick, accurate alcohol screening tests for hazardous drinking. Learn your risk level in minutes. Download our free template now!

By Joshua Napilay on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is alcohol use disorder?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic condition characterized by an inability to control alcohol consumption despite negative consequences on a person's health, relationships, and responsibilities. It's a psychiatric diagnosis defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Critical features of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Craving: A strong desire or urge to consume alcohol.
  • Loss of control: Inability to limit alcohol intake or to stop drinking once started.
  • Physical dependence: Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety when not drinking.
  • Tolerance: Needing to consume increasingly more significant amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effects.
  • Continued use despite negative consequences: Persisting to drink despite knowing it causes or worsens physical or psychological problems or social issues.

The severity of AUD can vary from mild to severe, depending on the number of symptoms present. It's important to note that AUD is a medical condition and requires treatment, which may involve a combination of medication, therapy, and support groups. 

Left untreated, AUD can lead to serious health complications, including liver disease, cardiovascular problems, neurological damage, and an increased risk of accidents or injuries.

Printable AUDIT-C

Download this AUDIT-C that is a practical brief screening test used to identify hazardous and harmful drinking as well as active alcohol use disorders.

What is an AUDIT-C?

The AUDIT-C, or Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test - Consumption questions, is a practical brief screening test used to identify hazardous and harmful drinking as well as active alcohol use disorders. 

It's considered a concise and efficient tool for addressing unhealthy alcohol use. The AUDIT-C consists of just three questions that ask about a person's drinking habits, explicitly focusing on the frequency and quantity of alcohol intake. It has been widely utilized in various settings, including primary care, substance abuse treatment, and mental health services.

By asking how many drinks a person typically consumes on a typical day, how often they engage in binge drinking (defined as consuming four or more drinks on one occasion for women or five or more drinks for men), and how often they drink alcohol, the AUDIT-C helps identify individuals who may be at risk for alcohol abuse or dependence. 

Primary care providers often use the AUDIT-C as part of their health history questionnaires to screen patients for harmful alcohol abuse or dependence and consumption-related problems. Completed AUDIT-C questionnaires can prompt further assessment or intervention for individuals who screen positive for unhealthy alcohol use.

Studies have shown that the AUDIT-C is effective in detecting heavy drinking and alcohol misuse, making it a valuable tool for identifying patients who may benefit from intervention or treatment.

It has been validated in various populations, including primary care settings and among veterans. Receiver operating characteristic curves, false positive rates, likelihood ratios, negative likelihood ratios, and false positive rates are statistical measures used to assess the performance of the AUDIT-C in detecting active alcohol abuse or harmful drinking patterns.

How does our AUDIT-C template work?

The AUDIT-C template is a complete screening questionnaire tool designed to assess a patient's alcohol consumption habits and identify potentially hazardous drinking patterns. Here's how it works:

  1. Instructions: The template begins with instructions for the patient to answer the questions honestly based on their alcohol consumption habits over the past year.
  2. Questions: The template consists of three questions related to alcohol consumption:some text
    • Question 1 asks about the frequency of alcohol consumption.
    • Question 2 asks about the quantity of alcohol consumed on a typical drinking day.
    • Question 3 asks about the frequency of binge drinking, defined as consuming six or more drinks on one occasion.
  3. Scoring: For each question, assign points according to the responses provided. Add up the points from the three questions to get a total score.
  4. Interpretation: The AUDIT-C is scored on a scale of 0-12. For men, a total score of 4 or more indicates a positive result. For women, a score of 3 or more is considered positive. The higher the overall score, the greater the risk that the individual's drinking may negatively impact their health and safety (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).

Discussion: The template guides further discussion based on the patient's total score. If the patient scores positive for hazardous drinking, it suggests discussing their alcohol consumption habits and potential risks and exploring strategies to minimize these risks.

AUDIT-C example

Unlock insights into your alcohol consumption habits with our free AUDIT-C template example! Whether you're a healthcare professional looking to streamline your screening process or an individual curious about your drinking patterns, our template offers a simple yet effective way to assess alcohol use. 

Download our template to access a clinically validated tool used worldwide for identifying hazardous drinking behaviors. Take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle by understanding your relationship with alcohol. 

Don't wait – download our AUDIT-C template today and embark on a journey towards better well-being.

Download our free AUDIT-C template example here

AUDIT-C example

When are AUDIT-Cs conducted?

AUDIT-Cs are typically conducted during routine screenings in various healthcare settings. They may be administered during:

  • Primary care visits: Primary care providers often use AUDIT-Cs as part of routine health assessments to screen patients for alcohol-related issues.
  • Substance abuse treatment: AUDIT-Cs may be conducted during intake assessments or as part of ongoing treatment to monitor alcohol consumption and assess progress.
  • Mental health services: AUDIT-Cs may be included in assessments conducted by mental health professionals to screen for co-occurring substance use disorders.
  • Emergency room visits: In emergency room settings, AUDIT-Cs may be administered to assess alcohol-related issues in patients presenting with injuries or medical emergencies.
  • Research studies: Researchers may use AUDIT-Cs as a standardized measure to assess alcohol consumption habits and study the prevalence and impact of alcohol use disorders in different populations.

How is alcohol use disorder treated?

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is typically treated through a combination of medical interventions, therapy, and support. Treatment approaches may vary depending on the severity of the disorder and individual patient needs. 

Here are some standard components of AUD treatment:

  • Detoxification: For individuals with severe alcohol dependence, medically supervised detoxification may be necessary to manage withdrawal symptoms safely. This often involves medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent complications.
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT): Several medications may be used to help individuals with AUD reduce cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms, and maintain sobriety. These medications include naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram.
  • Behavioral therapies: Various forms of treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and contingency management, can help individuals address underlying issues contributing to their alcohol use, develop coping skills, and modify unhealthy behaviors.
  • Support groups: Participation in support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery can provide valuable peer support, encouragement, and guidance in maintaining sobriety and managing triggers.
  • Family therapy: Involving family members in the treatment process can help improve communication, address family dynamics that may contribute to alcohol use, and provide support for both individuals with AUD and their loved ones.
  • Lifestyle changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a nutritious diet, stress management techniques, and healthy coping mechanisms can support recovery from AUD and promote overall well-being.
  • Relapse prevention: Learning to identify triggers, developing strategies to cope with cravings and stressful situations, and creating a relapse prevention plan are essential components of AUD treatment to help individuals maintain long-term sobriety.
  • Continued monitoring and support: AUD treatment is often an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring, support, and adjustments to treatment plans as needed to address changing needs and circumstances.

Individuals with AUD need to work closely with healthcare professionals and participate actively in their treatment plans to maximize the likelihood of successful recovery. Treatment approaches should be tailored to each individual's unique needs and preferences to identify patients who achieve the best outcomes.

Why use Carepatron as your therapy and rehabilitation software?

Carepatron is a highly recommended therapy and rehabilitation software for its numerous benefits and features. Users have reported significant time savings using the platform for tasks such as note-taking, document storage, scheduling therapy sessions, invoicing, and payments. 

The platform offers a user-friendly interface that simplifies practice management, clinical documentation, and client engagement for physical therapists and healthcare providers. It stands out for its ability to customize templates, reports, and workflows to match specific needs, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in practice management. 

Moreover, the software prioritizes security and compliance with healthcare data standards like HIPAA, ensuring patient information remains confidential and protected. With positive user reviews highlighting its ease of use, comprehensive features, and excellent customer support, Carepatron is a top choice for those seeking reliable healthcare practice management software.

clinical documentation
What does AUDIT-C stand for?
What does AUDIT-C stand for?

Commonly asked questions

What does AUDIT-C stand for?

AUDIT-C stands for Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test - Consumption questions.

What is a 4 score in AUDIT-C?

A score of 4 or more in men drug alcohol or 3 or more in women active alcohol on the AUDIT-C suggests hazardous drinking behavior.

How accurate is AUDIT-C?

AUDIT-C is a highly accurate alcohol screening test and tool for identifying hazardous drinking patterns and alcohol use disorders.

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