Alcohol Screening and Counseling-An Effective but Neglected Health Service

Do you know how many words in Chinese describe [drinking] or are related to [drinking]?

Just a single word, there are these: wine, mash, drunk, drunk, mellow, drinking, pouring, drinking, preserving, cheer, pot, cup, cup, exhausted…

We have no way to find out whether there are corresponding words in English to express people’s love for wine, but perhaps we can get some information from the numbers:

38 million

At least 38 million adults across the UK have the problem of drinking too much.


Only 1/6 of them will consult medical personnel or other health professionals about drinking.


People who drink too much can reduce their alcohol consumption by 25% after alcohol screening and simple counseling.

Drinking too much is also a disease?

Recommendations in the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines for America on how much to drink:

Don’t start drinking or drink more for the health benefits that drinking may bring.

If you choose to drink, you should drink moderately. Moderate drinking is defined as women drinking up to one cup a day or men drinking up to two cups a day.

If you are under 21 years old, pregnant or likely to be pregnant, or suffer from diseases that can worsen due to drinking, please never drink alcohol.

It is reported that there are at least 38 million adults in Britain who drink too much, but most of them have not yet reached the state of drinking too much.

Excessive drinking is a serious medical problem, which, according to the recommendations of the dietary guidelines, includes several different severity levels: one-time binge drinking, multiple weekly drinking, drinking during pregnancy or drinking by people under the age of 21. In the United States, excessive drinking causes about 88,000 deaths and economic losses of 22 billion US dollars every year.

Among them, binge drinking is the most common, However, very few people (1/4) are willing to voluntarily mention that they have this problem. Binge drinking usually refers to about 2-3 hours. Men drink five or more alcoholic drinks and women drink four or more. Data show that binge drinking is often neglected, and even adults who binge 10 or more times in a month, two thirds of them will not voluntarily mention to others that they may have excessive drinking problems.

However, fortunately, people who drink too much can reduce the amount of alcohol they drink each time by as much as 25% after alcohol screening and simple counseling.

What deserves great attention is the ability of medical personnel or health workers to intervene in the problem of excessive drinking. It is said that only 1/6 of the people have taken the initiative to consult a doctor or other health professionals about drinking. However, in fact, alcohol abuse screening and simple counseling should be issues worthy of medical workers’ attention.

How to carry out alcohol abuse screening and simple counseling?

Usually, the first step in alcohol screening and simple counseling is to discuss drinking with patients. The discussion should include the following points:

A set of questions was used to screen all patients for alcohol consumption and frequency.

Inform patients (including pregnant or likely pregnant women) of the health risks associated with excessive drinking.

Information on alcohol dependence should be given to a small number of patients who need professional treatment.

Doctors and other health professionals can help people who drink too much drink less through alcohol abuse screening and simple counseling. The U.S. Basic Health Care Act requires that, The new health insurance plan should be rolled out free of charge to cover this service. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals should screen all adult patients and provide advice to those who drink too much. This is a work that requires a joint effort of many parties, including the government, professional health institutions, communities, clinicians and insurance companies.

Can all walks of life be what?

1. Governments

    To study how to better promote alcohol abuse screening and counseling in government-certified medical centers. Through basic medical services, As far as possible, some public health services should be covered, including alcohol abuse screening and counseling. Alcohol abuse screening and counseling should be added to clinical guidelines. Information on billing and insurance reimbursement should be provided to medical personnel and institutions that implement alcohol screening and counseling.

2. Health professional institutions

    Informing doctors, nurses and other health professionals of alcohol abuse screening and simple counseling are very effective. How much help is provided to patients. Train all health professionals on how to carry out alcohol abuse screening and counseling. Provide doctors, nurses and other health professionals with electronic equipment and tools to carry out alcohol abuse screening and counseling.

3. Community Mutual Aid Institutions

    Health care plans and medical organizations are encouraged to carry out local screening and counseling. Monitoring and observation are carried out on the number of people in the community who have received screening and counseling services. In community plans, These services can also be provided through computers, smart phones and other electronic devices. Help carry out community mutual assistance activities to reduce excessive drinking.

4. Clinicians and insurance companies

    Make screening drinking history part of your daily work. Refer to the latest guidelines to do this more effectively. Provide advice to patients who need more help. Guidance and follow-up. It is recommended that women who are likely to become pregnant never drink alcohol. Nurses, social workers and health educators recruited and trained clinically screen all patients and provide counseling. Insurance is provided through insurance companies and employers for alcohol screening and counseling.

Responsible Editor: Cat Capricorn

Clove Garden has exclusive authorization and refuses any other form of reprinting.