New Guidelines to Help Doctors Identify Alcohol-Related Problems in Teenagers

Children who start drinking before age fifteen are four times more likely to develop alcoholism and other psychiatric problems, a recent article reports.  Early intervention is therefore crucial to help teenagers make healthier choices.

According to new guidelines released by the National Institute on Alcholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), doctors can identify teenagers at risk for alcohol-related problems by asking two specific questions:

1. Do you have any friends who drank beer, wine or any drink containing alcohol in the past year?

2.  How about you – in the past year, on how many days have you had more than a few sips of beer, wine or any drink containing alcohol?

If the child answers yes to either of these questions, the NIAAA guide offers doctors information on how to perform “brief motivational interventions.” These short interventions can make a big difference.  The NIAAA hopes that doctors incorporate these screenings into their practice.

For the full article, click here.

To find the Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Guide, click here.