Young Adults at Risk for Excess Alcohol Consumption Are Often Not Asked or Counseled About Drinking Alcohol
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Excessive alcohol consumption is most widespread among young adults. Practice guidelines recommend screening and physician advice, which could help address this common cause of injury and premature death.
To assess the proportion of persons ages 18–39 who, in the past year, saw a physician and were asked about their drinking and advised what drinking levels pose health risk, and whether this differed by age or whether respondents exceeded low-risk drinking guidelines [daily (>4 drinks for men/>3 for women) or weekly (>14 for men/>7 for women)].
Survey of young adults selected from a national internet panel established using random digit dial telephone techniques.
Adults age 18–39 who ever drank alcohol, n = 3,409 from the internet panel and n = 612 non-panel telephone respondents.
Respondents were asked whether they saw a doctor in the past year; those who did see a doctor were asked whether a doctor asked about their drinking, advised about safe drinking levels, or counseled to reduce drinking.
Of respondents, 67% saw a physician in the past year, but only 14% of those exceeding guidelines were asked and advised about risky drinking patterns. Persons 18–25 were the most likely to exceed guidelines (68% vs. 56%, p < 0.001) but were least often asked about drinking (34% vs. 54%, p < 0.001).
Despite practice guidelines, few young adults are asked and advised by physicians about excessive alcohol consumption. Physicians should routinely ask all adults about their drinking and offer advice about levels that pose health risk, particularly to young adults.
- Saitz R. Clinical practice: unhealthy alcohol use. N Engl J Med. 2005;352(6):596–607. CrossRef
- Institute of Medicine. Broadening the Base of Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Report of a Study by a Committee of the Institute of Medicine. Washington: National Academy Press; 1990.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician’s Guide. updated 2005th ed. Bethesda: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007. NIH Pub. No. 07–3769.
- Scientific Affairs Council on, American Medical Association. AMA Guidelines for Physician Involvement in the Care of Substance Abusing Patients. Chicago: American Medical Association; 1979.
- American Society of Addiction Medicine. Public policy statement on screening for addiction in primary care settings. ASAM News. 1997;17:17–18.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. 2nd ed. Alexandria: International Medical Publishing; 1998.
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Policy statement—alcohol use by youth and adolescents: a pediatric concern. Pediatrics. 2010;125(5):1078–1087. CrossRef
- Solberg LI, Maciosek MV, Edwards NM. Primary care intervention to reduce alcohol misuse- ranking its health impact and cost effectiveness. Am J Prev Med. 2008;34(2):143–152. CrossRef
- Kaner EF, Dickinson HO, Beyer FR, et al. Effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions in primary care populations. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;Issue 2. Art No.: CD004148.
- Larimer ME, Cronce JM. Identification, prevention, and treatment revisited: individual-focused college drinking prevention strategies 1999–2006. Addict Behav. 2007;32:2439–2468. CrossRef
- Carey KB, Scott-Sheldon LA, Carey MP, DeMartini KS. Individual-level interventions to reduce college student drinking: a meta-analytic review. Addict Behav. 2007;32:2469–2494. CrossRef
- Schaus J, Sole M, McCoy T, et al. Screening for high-risk drinking in a college student health center: characterizing students based on quantity, frequency, and harms. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2009;12(Supplement):34–44.
- Fleming MF, Balousek SL, Grossberg PM, et al. Brief physician advice for heavy drinking college students: a randomized controlled trial in college health clinics. J Stud Alcohol.
- Babor TF, Caetano R, Casswell S, Edwards G, Giesbrecht N, Graham K, Grube JW, Hill L, Holder H, Homel R, Livingston M, Österberg E, Rehm J, Room R, Rossow I. Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity: Research and Public Policy. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2010. CrossRef
- Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA. 2004;291(10):1238–45. CrossRef
- Midanik L, Chaloupka F, Saitz R, Toomey TL, Fellows JL, Dufour M, Landen M, Brounstein PJ, Stahre MA, Brewer RD, Naimi TS, Miller JW. Alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost—United States, 2001. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004;53(37):866–870. reprinted in JAMA, Dec. 15, 2004;292:2831–32.
- McKenna MT, Michaud CM, Murray CJ, Marks JS. Assessing the burden of disease in the United States using disability-adjusted life years. Am J Prev Med. 2005;28(5):415–23. CrossRef
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol development and youth: A multi-disciplinary overview. Alcohol Res Health. 2004/2005;28(3):175.
- Courtney KE, Polich J. Binge drinking in young adults: data, definitions, and determinants. Psychol Bull. 2009;135(1):142–156. CrossRef
- Roerecke M, Rehm J. Irregular heavy drinking occasions and risk of ischemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol. 2010;171(6):633–44. CrossRef
- World Health Organization. Strategies to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol: Draft Global Strategy. Sixty-Third World Health Assembly, Provisional Agenda Item 11.10, March 2010.
- Rehm J, Mathers C, Popova S, Thavorncharoensap M, Teerawattananon Y, Patra J. Global burden of disease and injury and economic cost attributable to alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders. Lancet. 2009;73:2223–33. CrossRef
- Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. Rockville: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007.
- Hingson RW, Heeren T, Winter MR. Age at drinking onset and alcohol dependence - age at onset, duration, and severity. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(7):739–746. CrossRef
- Grant BF, Dawson D, Stinson F, Chou S, Dufour M, Pickering R. The 12-month prevalence and trends in DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence: United States, 1991–1992 and 2001–2002. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2004;74:223–234. CrossRef
- Friedmann PD, McCullough D, Chin MH, Saitz R. Screening and intervention for alcohol problems: a national survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists. J Gen Intern Med. 2000;15(2):84–91. CrossRef
- D’Amico EJ, Paddock SM, Burnam A, Kung FY. Identification of and guidance for problem drinking by general medical providers: results from a national survey. Med Care. 2005;43(3):229–236. CrossRef
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health. Bethesda: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2009. NIH Pub. No. 09–3770.
- Shah BU, Barnwell BG, Breller GS. SUDAAN User’s Manual Release 7. Research Triangle Park: Research Triangle Institute; 1996.
- Heeren T, Edwards EM, Dennis JM, Rodkin JM, Hingson R, Rosenbloom DL. A comparison of results from an alcohol survey of a pre-recruited internet panel and the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008;32(2):222–229. CrossRef
- Smith PC, Schmidt SM, Allensworth-Davies D, Saitz R. Primary care validation of a single-question alcohol screening test. J Gen Intern Med. 2009;24(7):783–88. CrossRef
- Taj N, Devera-Sales A, Vinson DC. Screening for problem drinking: does a single question work? J Fam Pract. 1998;46:328–335.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Policy Information System. Available at http://www.alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/. Accessed August 5, 2011.
- Frank E, Elon L, Naimi T, Brewer R. Alcohol consumption and alcohol counseling behavior among US medical students: Cohort study. BMJ. 2008;337:1–10. CrossRef
- Bradley KA, Williams EC, Achtmeyer CE, Volpp B, Collins BJ, Kivlahan DR. Implementation of evidence-based alcohol screening in the Veterans Health Administration. Am J Manag Care. 2006;12(10):597–606.
- Young Adults at Risk for Excess Alcohol Consumption Are Often Not Asked or Counseled About Drinking Alcohol
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Volume 27, Issue 2 , pp 179-184
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- alcoholism and addictive behavior
- patient education
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5635 Fishers Lane, Room 2077, Bethesda, MD, 20892-9304, USA
- 2. Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street, Talbot Building, Boston, MA, 02118, USA
- 3. Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, 801 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd floor, Boston, MA, 02118, USA