Substance abuse treatment utilization and patient characteristics of veterans (N = 167) drinking alcohol at risky levels at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital were examined. Rates of brief intervention and specialty care were higher than those found in national samples in 2010, but fall short of recommended guidelines. Veterans receiving more care were older, lower-income, and less likely to be in a relationship. Care-receiving veterans had higher rates of mental health comorbidities and mental health treatment in the prior year for an issue other than substance use. Understanding patients' recent care history may help primary care providers to deliver care effectively.
Keywords: Alcohol use disorders; VA health care system; alcohol use disorders identification test-consumption; brief intervention; patient characteristics; specialty care; veterans.