National survey highlights misconceptions about at-risk drinking

With National Alcohol Screening Day this Thursday, Screening for Mental Health, Inc., has released the results of a national survey on drinking habits, opinions and perceptions. The findings include:

  • One-fifth believe that the amount a person drinks is not a problem unless it affects personal relationships or job performance;
  • About half of the respondents who had 20 or more at-risk drinking episodes in the past year indicated that they would be likely to speak with a health care provider if they believed they had a problem with alcohol (at-risk drinking is defined as four or more drinks per day for men and three or more drinks per day for women); 
  • One-fifth of those surveyed said that drinking heavily among kids is a common phase, “but that it would not hurt them in the long run.”

In a press release from Screening for Mental Health, Dr. Douglas G. Jacobs, the organization’s medical director and clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said: 

“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 [National Alcohol Screening Day] screenings allow individuals to assess their drinking habits and have an opportunity to connect with local support resources.”

The poll was conducted by Anderson Robbins Research and included 1,000 randomly-selected adults.

Polaris Health Directions offers a comprehensive outcomes management system for chemical dependency, as well as two systems for alcohol, drug and tobacco “Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment” that are appropriate for a range of health care settings.