Alcohol coding

Created Dec 2012
Reviewed Dec 2019


Can we assign Z72.1 Alcohol use when alcohol was involved with an injury?


No.  Z72.1 Alcohol use should not be routinely assigned for cases where there is documentation of alcohol involvement with an injury.  

The note in category Z72 Problems related to lifestyle indicates that:

 'hazardous use is a pattern of substance use that increases the risk of harmful consequences for the user. In contrast to harmful use, hazardous use refers to patterns of use that are of public health significance despite the absence of any current disorder in the individual user'.

 Therefore, this code can only be assigned if the clinician indicates there has been hazardous use of alcohol.  It should be remembered that a code for alcohol cannot be routinely assigned, as we do with smoking, because of the subjective nature of its usage i.e. when looking at age, sex, weight issues etc, and that code assignment is still dependent on the condition meeting the criteria in ACS 0002 Additional diagnoses.

 Where there is no documentation within the clinical record to support code assignment from category F10 Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol, coders may record alcohol involvement in the NMDS event supplementary field.

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