Screening for Excessive Alcohol Use & Counseling of Adults

Screening for Excessive Alcohol Use & Counseling of Adults

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
CDC

Logo of CDCHealth professionals may be increasingly screening their patients for alcohol use and abuse, according to a CDC study reported in the MMWR. 

The study, Screening for Excessive Alcohol Use and Brief Counseling of Adults — 17 States and the District of Columbia, 2014 (3/31/17), involved a CDC analysis of Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data from 17 states and DC. Overall, 77.7% of persons reported being asked about alcohol use in person or by form, 68.8% reported being asked how much they drink, and 32.9% reported being asked about binge drinking.  In an earlier CDC report on BRFSS data (2011), only one in six U.S. adults reported ever talking with a health professional about alcohol, although the results are not comparable as the study methodologies differed.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all U.S. adults aged 18 years old or older be screened for alcohol misuse and receive brief counseling if needed. Excessive and/or risky alcohol use results in 88,000 deaths in the United States every year (2006 to 2010) and is associated with birth defects, disabilities, chronic diseases, injuries and violence.