New guidelines elaborated by the United States Preventive Services Task Force are advising doctors to screen all their mature patients for abusive alcohol consumption. Until now, only pregnant women were screened. Brief counseling may also be provided to patients that overindulge in alcohol consumption.
The statements have been officially published in the JAMA medical journal. An editorial piece notes a brief statistic: only one in six US patients conversed about alcohol with their doctor. It is hoped that the updated guidelines will have a positive impacts, encouraging more doctors to counsel their patients in order to keep alcohol consumption balanced.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50% of the adults that are 18 or older are regular drinkers while 13% agree that the drink on occasions. Overall, approximately 65% of Americans acknowledge that they are drink, and a sizeable chunk of the drinkers is also alcoholic. There are also some grim numbers, as 16,000 died from alcohol-related diseases in 2010. Alcohol also surfaces constantly in violent crime cases including homicides.
The National Institute on Alcoholism (abbreviated as NIAAA), has created a chart in order to find out more about the drinking habits of American people. The study showed that over 70% of men and nearly 60% of women have consumed at least one drink last year. It is disconcerting that 20% of women and more than 40% of men consume at least three drinks per day, a behavior that would qualify as alcoholism according to several international classifications. 30% of the men and women that participated acknowledged that they consume two alcoholic drinks per day. While this doesn’t seem much, in the case of drinks that are very rich on alcohol it can also be interpreted as a sign of alcohol addiction.
NIAAA advises male citizens between the age of 21 and 64 to consume less than 4 drinks per day and a maximum number of 14 drinks per week. The numbers are halved for women and older people.