Nursing care plan for alcohol use disorder

Nursing care plan for alcohol use disorder

Introduction to Nursing Care Plan for Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic relapsing brain disorder associated with the compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol despite harmful consequences. It is characterized by biological, psychological, and social disruptions due to the excessive alcohol intake. People with AUD will display a range of symptoms that can affect their daily lives and relationships.

Assessment of Alcohol Use Disorder

The diagnosis of alcohol use disorder can be made after conducting a comprehensive assessment. This assessment should look at an individual’s current and past drinking patterns, their physical and mental health concerns, how alcohol impacts their functioning, and any additional risk factors. The following components should be part of the assessment:

  • Family history of alcohol-related problems
  • Past alcohol use and related problems
  • Current drinking behavior
  • Weight and nutrition status
  • Circumstances surrounding drinking
  • Mental health concerns

Nursing Diagnosis for Alcohol Use Disorder

A nursing diagnosis may be used to provide guidance regarding the most suitable interventions. The following are some examples of nursing diagnoses related to alcohol use disorder:

  • Ineffective denial of illness related to alcohol consumption
  • Risk for social isolation related to shame and fear of judgement
  • Ineffective coping related to alcohol consumption
  • High-risk for unintentional injuries related to alcohol intoxication
  • Risk for nutritional deficiency related to poor eating habits

Outcomes for Nursing Care Plan for Alcohol Use Disorder

The following are some of the desired outcomes for treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder:

  • Improved self-esteem and self-worth
  • Maintained safety while intoxicated
  • Reduced drinking frequency and amounts
  • Improved communication and support systems
  • Increased motivation/ability to adhere to treatment regimen
  • Stable health and improved overall functioning

Interventions for Nursing Care Plan for Alcohol Use Disorder

To achieve the desired outcomes the following interventions may be utilized both in an acute care and follow up setting:

  • Assist individual in identifying their strengths and weaknesses related to alcohol use
  • Provide education on the risks associated with excessive drinking
  • Assist in developing strategies to reduce alcohol use
  • Connect individual to relevant resources
  • Evaluate and monitor mental and physical health
  • Assess for suicidal risk

Rationales for Nursing Care Plan for Alcohol Use Disorder

The following is why each of these interventions are beneficial when addressing alcohol use disorder:

  • It helps the individual to take responsibility and ownership of their recovery
  • Education on the consequences of alcohol abuse can help to motivate the individual to change their behavior.
  • Strategies such as avoiding high-risk situations and changing regular habits can help reduce relapse potential
  • Increasing access to resources can help to support long-term sobriety
  • Regular monitoring of one’s physical and mental health can alert the person to any potential issues, enabling early intervention and treatment.
  • Screening and assessing for suicide risk is imperative to ensure safety while in treatment.

Evaluation of the Nursing Care Plan for Alcohol Use Disorder

Evaluation of the treatment plan should consist of both subjective and objective measures. Subjective measures may include feedback from the patient and/or friends/family regarding their experience of the recovery process. Objective measures may include biographical data, including alcohol consumption level and additional health-related statistics.


Effective management of alcohol use disorder requires specialized nursing knowledge and skills. It is important to assess the strengths and needs of individuals who struggle with AUD and create tailored strategies in order to provide effective treatment.


  1. What are the risks of alcohol use disorder?
    The risks associated with alcohol use disorder can include difficulties in relationships and work, physical illness, poor nutrition, social isolation, and potential legal consequences.
  2. What are strategies to reduce relapse potential?
    Strategies to reduce relapse potential may include avoiding high-risk situations, seeking emotional support, and engaging in activities to improve mood and motivation.
  3. What are some interventions for alcohol use disorder?
    Interventions for AUD can include education, therapy and counseling, medical management, connectedness to meaningful activities and social support.
  4. What is the goal of treatment for alcohol use disorder?
    The goal of treatment for AUD is to reduce drinking frequency and amounts to achieve and maintain abstinence. Additionally, treatment aims to improve overall functioning and quality of life.
  5. What is involved in the evaluation of an alcohol use disorder treatment plan?
    The evaluation of an AUD treatment plan should involve both subjective and objective measures such as patient feedback, biographical data, and alcohol consumption patterns.

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