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Psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and other prescribing clinicians who work in mental health settings are in an optimal position to treat an alcohol use disorder (AUD) that co-occurs with a primary mental health condition experienced by clients in these settings. U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved medications are available and appropriate for use in mental health settings to enhance the effectiveness of mental health treatment. This tool provides a "how-to" guide to identifying and treating clients with a co-occurring alcohol use disorder in mental health settings. It also includes a prescriber summary that defines a strategy for prescribing AUD medications in mental health settings.

This guide is divided into three parts. In Part I, the authors include information about identifying and diagnosing an AUD. In Part II, they review administering naltrexone long-acting injection, and in Part III, they review oral medications for AUD.

Table of Contents

  • Part I

    Medications for Alcohol Use Disorder in Mental Health Settings

    • Section One

      Evaluating Clients for Co-AUD

    • Section Two

      Prescribing Medications to Clients with Co-AUD

  • Part II

    Administering Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection to Clients with Co-AUD: A Step-By-Step Guide for Mental Health Clinicians and Providers

    • Section One

      Quick Guide for Administering Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection

    • Section Two

      Determining Client Appropriateness for Treatment with Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection: Visit 1

    • Section Three

      Administering Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection

    • Section Four

      Assessing Treatment Progress and Adverse Events and Administering Additional Medication Doses, If Appropriate

  • Part III

    Prescribing Oral Medications for Clients with Co-AUD

  • Appendix A

    Pre-Injection Checklist for Appropriateness for Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection

  • Appendix B

    Risks of Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection Worksheet (English and Spanish Versions)

  • Appendix C

    Step-by-Step Instructions for the Preparation and Injection of Naltrexone Long-Acting Injection

  • Appendix D

    Follow-Up Visit Pre-Injection Checklists

  • Appendix E

    DSM-5 AUD Diagnosis Worksheet

  • Appendix F

    CIWA-Ar Worksheet

  • Appendix G

    Wallet Cards

Research conducted by

This research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and conducted by the Access and Delivery Program within RAND Health Care.

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