A recent study in theJournal of the American Medical Association recommended that all United States Doctors should be screening patients for alcohol abuse. This recommendation is an update from the previous guidance set forth in 2013 which stated that screening should take place if alcohol misuse was suspected.
Alcohol misuse, according to the previous study, was used to define a wide range of drinking behaviors including risky alcohol use, harmful alcohol use, and alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction.The most recent update to the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on alcohol screenings states that individuals that are suspected of any unhealthy alcohol use should be screened. The study found, “the net benefit of screening and brief behavioral counseling interventions for unhealthy alcohol use in adults, including pregnant women, is moderate.” Evidence from the study is insufficient to determine a balance between the benefits and harms associated with screening and brief counseling for unhealthy alcohol use in adolescents.
Excluding the cost of providing assessment, the recommendations of the USPSTF that all doctors offer risk assessment screening for alcohol use, is based on both benefits and potential harms associated with the service. Recognizing that clinical decisions often involve considerations versus evidence alone, the USPSTF recommends that clinicians make individual decisions as to screening necessity based on specific patient situations.
What is Considered Unhealthy Alcohol Use?
A standard drink, according to the CDC, “contains 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol.” This is generally the amount of alcohol that is found in:
A 12-ounce beer.
An 8-ounce glass of malt liquor.
5 ounces of wine.
1.5 ounces or about a shot of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor such as vodka, whiskey, rum or gin.
According to theAmerican Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), hazardous use of alcohol occurs when an individual drinks to a point in which the use of alcohol increases the risk of future negative health consequences. Unfortunately, a worldwide consensus as to what constitutes risky drinking has yet to be reached. However, any alcohol use among pregnant women is considered unhealthy and potentially hazardous.
Consumption of more than 1 drink per day for women, or more than 2 drinks per day for men, is considered potentially unhealthy. Excessive drinking can lead to dependence and physical withdrawal. Individuals that become addicted to alcohol often require professional alcohol detox to safely overcome the addiction.
Benefits of Physician Counseling for Alcohol Use Disorder
Although more research is necessary before the task force can fully attest as to the benefits of modest physician counseling or potential drawbacks of screening patients for alcohol use disorders, current data suggests that there are zero risks associated with such interventional treatment by physicians.
In fact, the only possible drawbacks found are related to the possible stigma related to drinking habits and differences between doctors in establishing clear guidelines as to what they consider to be “unhealthy habits.” Likewise, patients may feel that the intimacy of the patient-doctor relationship suffers as a result of the alcohol risk assessment, but the potential for this outcome hardly negates the recommendations imposed.
Early detection of alcohol use disorder, or potentially risky alcohol use, especially in pregnant women, leads to reduced unhealthy alcohol use and improved behaviors. As such, the USPSTF has found that brief behavioral counseling interventions in adults that screen positive for risky or unhealthy alcohol use increases the likelihood that alcohol use is reduced. Furthermore, in cases of pregnant women, counseling interventions increase the likelihood that women abstain from alcohol use during pregnancy.
Most of us drink. Some of us may even binge every other weekend. But where do you draw the line between moderate/social use and alcoholism? Generally a good indicator is when friends and family start to worry about you, or when you personally start to worry or feel ashamed about drinking. Talking a doctor or counsellor will allow you to properly determine whether you have a problem. In the meantime, it may be worth reading into these signs to see if you fit the bill.
Your drinking has got you a criminal conviction
If you’ve been arrested or warned by police for drunken behaviour, this is generally a sign that you need to tone things down a bit. This could include being drunk and disorderly, trespassing into an area whilst intoxicated or drinking under the influence. It may pay to think back to any previous dangerous or unlawful situations that you’ve found yourself, whether or not you got caught in the act. If you can easily identify such situations, then this a sign that alcohol is taking control of your actions for the worse.
There are many things you can do to wipe clean your criminal convictions and start fresh. Whilst they may haunt you forever on a DBS check, you may be able to legally contest having to pay fines or serve sentences by showing that you’re making a recovery. There are specialist lawyers that can deal with individual charges such as DUI attorney for a drink driving charge.
Your drinking is causing you to neglect responsibilities
Failing to turn up at work or school because you were drinking, neglecting your kids or forgetting important commitments are all clear signs that alcohol is negatively affecting your life. Such behaviour when taking to the extreme could result in getting fired, suspended or having social services intervene.
Start to record the amount of times this is happening, and start setting alarms and keeping calendars so that you’re on time to events and know when to limit your drinking. If you still find it hard to keep by this code, you may need to seek help elsewhere.
Drinking is damaging your relationships
If your family or partner does not like your drinking habits and it is resulting in arguments, ultimatums, splits or physical violence, alcohol could be ruining your personal life. Of course, relationship problems can be due to a number of factors, but if alcohol is the running theme, then it may be worth taking the advice of your friends and family. There are also counselling services that can help with this area.
You need to drink to de-stress
A lot of us may use a glass of wine or a few beers to unwind after a hard day’s work, but you shouldn’t have to rely on these things to de-stress. If your first reaction to every argument or bit of bad news is to hit the bottle, this could masking problems or creating an unhealthy reliance. Start experimenting with other methods of de-stressing such as exercise, listening to music, meditations, reading, gaming or simply going for a walk – whatever gives you comfort without involving alcohol.
According to a new research, the high number of early deaths in Russia is mainly due to people drinking too much alcohol, particularly vodka.
The study findings, published in The Lancet, show that 25% of Russian men die before they are 55, and most of the deaths are down to alcohol.
Causes of death include liver disease and alcohol poisoning. Many also die in accidents or after getting into fights.
The study is thought to be the largest of its kind in the country.
Researchers from the Russian Cancer Centre in Moscow, Oxford University in the UK and the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer, in France, tracked the drinking patterns of 151,000 adults in three Russian cities over up to 10 years.
During that time, 8,000 of them died. The researchers also drew on previous studies in which families of 49,000 people who had died were asked about their loved ones’ drinking habits.
Study co-author Prof. Sir Richard Peto, from the University of Oxford, said: “Russian death rates have fluctuated wildly over the last 30 years as alcohol restrictions and social stability varied under Presidents Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin, and the main thing driving these wild fluctuations in death was vodka.”
In 1985, the then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev drastically cut vodka production and did not allow it to be sold before lunch-time.
The high number of early deaths in Russia is mainly due to people drinking too much alcohol, particularly vodka
Researchers say alcohol consumption fell by around a quarter when the restrictions came in, and so did overall death rates. Then, when communism collapsed, people started drinking more again and the death rates also rose.
Richard Peto said: “When President Yeltsin took over from President Gorbachev, the overall death rates in young men more than doubled. This was as society collapsed and vodka became much more freely available.
“There was a huge increase in drinking and they were drinking in a destructive way. They were getting drunk on spirits and then buying and drinking more, producing a big risk of death.”
The consumption rates for women also fluctuated according to political events, but they drank less so mortality rates were also lower.
Most drinkers were smokers as well which researchers say “aggravated” the death rates.
Russia brought in stricter alcohol control measures in 2006, including raising taxes and restricting sales.
Researchers say alcohol consumption has fallen by a third since then and the proportion of men dying before they reach 55 years old has fallen from 37% to 25%.
Half a litre of vodka costs around $5.00 (150 roubles). Heavy drinkers in this study were getting through at least a litre and a half of vodka a week.
In 2011, each Russian adult drank on average 13 litres of pure alcohol every year, of which eight litres was in spirits, mainly vodka.
Researchers say the key problem driving the high death rate is the way Russians drink alcohol.
Researcher Prof. David Zaridze, from the Russian Cancer Research Centre, said: “They binge drink. That’s the main problem. It’s the pattern of drinking not the per-capita amount they are drinking.”
“Russians have always drunk a lot. They sometimes say it’s because of the cold weather but this is just an excuse. This is the nation’s lifestyle that needs to change.
“Since the average life expectancy from birth for men in Russia is still only 64 years, ranking among the lowest 50 countries in the world, more effective alcohol and tobacco policy measures are urgently needed.”
Si Robertson has opened up about family struggles and his history with alcohol abuse in his new book, Si-cology: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty’s Favorite Uncle.
New details from the book reported by RadarOnline surfaced this week:
1. Si and Phil Robertson’s mother suffered from mental health problems. When Si and Phil Robertson were both young boys, their mother “suffered a nervous breakdown and was diagnosed as manic-depressive,” the 65-year-old wrote.
“She spent a lot of time in hospitals and the state mental institution.”
Si Robertson also wrote that his own mind is “faulty.”
2. While serving in Vietnam, Si Robertson turned to alcohol. “Although I was there for only one year, it was a really difficult time in my life,” Si Robertson wrote.
“Believe me, it was easy to find a drink in Can Tho if you wanted one… You could find a drink and a girl whenever you wanted for the right price.”
The stress of military life in Vietnam drove Si Robertson to drink, he said.
Si Robertson has opened up about family struggles and his history with alcohol abuse in his new book
“It was the only time in my life when I drank heavily… I was largely drinking to forget where I was. When you’re in a place like Vietnam, you get to a point where you don’t care anymore. You’re in a place that’s foreign to you, and you know for a fact that many people there hate you and will kill you if they get the chance. It really does something to your mind to know that many of the people living around you don’t like you and want you to die.”
3. When he returned from service, Si Robertson stopped drinking. “I drank so much beer and whiskey in Vietnam that I decided I would quit drinking alcohol altogether once I returned home,” Si Robertson wrote.
“I saw what alcohol was doing to me in Vietnam and realized I needed to stop for good.”
Uncle Si is known for drinking two gallons of tea per day, a habit that his doctor endorses: “He said I’ve probably got the cleanest kidneys in the world!”
4. Si Robertson’s son Scott had a troubled childhood. Si Robertson and his wife Christine’s son, Scott, was born almost two months premature and “was trouble before he was even born,”
Uncle Si wrote: “Scott was suicidal from the time he was about five years old. His behavior was really erratic as a child. When Scott would get tired, he would throw his arms out and fall backward… When Scott was angry, he was out of control and did a lot of damage.”
Eventually, Scott Robertson was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and now leads a happy, healthy life.
“It took me a while to realize Scott needed help,” Si Robertson wrote.