Internists to screen for alcohol misuse on April 8


(April 5, 2004) Alcohol misuse and abuse is often a hidden problem, even from a patient's physician. The American College of Physicians (ACP), the national organization of doctors of internal medicine, has asked its members to take a few minutes on Thursday, April 8, to screen all patients for alcohol use and misuse, regardless of the reasons for the office visit.

The effort is part of National Alcohol Screening Day, a national program dedicated to educating the public about alcohol's effects on health. ACP has cosponsored the event for several years.

"This is a wonderful way to increase the awareness of internists and other health care providers to problem drinking," said Patrick Alquire, MD, FACP, director of ACP's Education and Career Development Department.

On April 8, 2004, participating physicians, nurses, psychologists and social workers will give patients a one-page screening form that addresses the full range of alcohol disorders, from at-risk drinking to dependence. Health professionals will then discuss results with patients, offer educational brochures about the effects of alcohol on overall health, and, if appropriate, refer patients to specialized treatment. Professionals receive a patient education video for office use and the NIH/NIAAA guide, Helping Patients with Alcohol Problems: A Health Practitioner's Guide. They are eligible to receive continuing education credit.

ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. Membership includes internists, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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