How to screen for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorders

Fall 2017


Neighborhood and Beacon Health Strategies (Beacon) work together to ensure our members receive the best and most appropriate care available. In keeping with that goal, we want to share with you some important information about the different ways to screen members for behavioral health or substance use disorders using various screening tools.

Providing behavioral health services in primary care settings enhances access to care, supports integrated service delivery, reduces stigma, and is cost-effective.. When mental health and substance use disorder treatment is integrated into primary care, people can access services closer to their homes. This access, in turn, allows patients to stay in the community and maintain daily activities.

Depression Screening Tool:

  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2 and PHQ-9) – The most commonly used screening tools to identify depression in adults. They incorporate leading major depressive symptoms into brief self-reported instruments. This tool is also available in Spanish

Substance Use Screening Tools:

  • CAGE-AID Questionnaire – Drug and alcohol assessment tool for determining whether a patient may be currently abusing drugs or alcohol. This screening tool should be used for patients over the age of 16.
  • Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) – Developed by the World Health Organization to help individuals identify whether they may have a problem with drinking.
  • CRAFFT – The CRAFFT is a screening tool for use with children under the age of 21 and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Substance Abuse for use with adolescents.

For further information and to access these tools or to view our PCP Toolkit , please visit the provider section of Beacon’s website at or call Beacon at 1-800-215-0058, Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 6:00pm. Thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to our members.