April 15, 2013 3:04 am
"These findings reinforce just how important National Alcohol Screening Day is," said Douglas G. Jacobs , M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and medical director of Screening for Mental Health, Inc. "Despite public opinion, at-risk drinking increases your chances of developing alcohol use disorders—such as alcoholism—as well as other physical and mental health problems. In the U.S., about 18 million people have an alcohol use disorder. The screenings allow individuals to assess their drinking habits and have an opportunity to connect with local support resources."
The telephone poll, conducted by Anderson Robbins Research, surveyed 1,000 American adults between March 22 and 28 and gathered information on drinking habits, opinions, and perceptions. Interviews were conducted by professional interviewers. Respondents were randomly selected for inclusion in the survey and were interviewed on cell phones and landlines.
Other key findings include:
• Seven in 10 respondents (68 percent) said they'd be likely to speak with a health care provider if they thought they might have a problem with alcohol, but this drops to just half (51 percent) among those who had the most at-risk drinking episodes (20+ times) in the past year.
• One-fifth (20 percent) feel that drinking heavily is a phase that many kids go through, but that it will not hurt them in the long run. However, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), people who started drinking before age 15 were 50 percent more likely to become alcohol dependent as adults. The same was true to a lesser extent for those who started drinking between ages 15 and 17.
• At-risk drinking is highly correlated with age and gender. Men under age 35 are the most likely (71 percent) to report at-risk drinking and women over age 55 are the least likely (21 percent).
• Over three-quarters (77 percent) of Americans think pregnant women should avoid alcohol altogether, while one-fifth (20 percent) think an occasional glass of wine is fine. According to NIAAA, no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Consuming any kind of alcohol can potentially harm an unborn child.
Source: Screening for Mental Health
Published with permission from RISMedia.