Substance Use Disorder Screening Capacity Lags Behind Depression Screening Capacity in Community Health Centers

Emily Jones, Traci Rieckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite their prevalence, screening for depression and substance use disorder (SUD) is often not routinely practiced in primary care. This study uses a survey of community health centers to identify characteristics associated with depression and SUD screening. In 2010, 76.9% of federally qualified health centers routinely screened for depression, and about half of health centers (54.1%) routinely screened for SUDs. Higher Medicaid caseload and region were associated with routine screening for both depression and SUDs. SUD screening was also associated with the percent of total staff comprised of behavioral health specialists, electronic health record (EHR) adoption, urban location, and higher uninsured caseload. Implications include the need to build SUD screening capacity, encourage the use of standardized screening tools, and monitor SUD screening capacity in health centers in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018



  • depression
  • primary care
  • safety net
  • screening
  • substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this