You may have noticed during one of your recent visits to Family Practice Center that one of our medical assistants or providers asked you to complete an alcohol use screening tool called the AUDIT-C. This basic screening tool helps us to identify individuals exhibiting at-risk drinking behavior.
What is at-risk drinking?
According to the CDC, moderate alcohol consumption is considered to consist of no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. At-risk drinking, then, is anything that exceeds 14 drinks a week for men and 7 drinks for women.
Why is this important?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), approximately one in three Americans will exhibit alcohol use patterns in their lifetime that could fall into the alcohol use disorder category. A full 10% of people with an alcohol use problem will never get the appropriate medical help they need. Excessive alcohol use has been linked to a number of different cancers, increased risk for injuries, high blood pressure, and various psychological disorders.
Recognizing you may have an overuse problem with alcohol is often a difficult first step. Knowing what to do next can be even more challenging. NPR recently highlighted the important role primary care providers can play in helping bridge the gap between recognition of alcohol misuse and pursuing appropriate treatment.
We want you to know that Family Practice Center is a safe place to discuss any concerns you may have about your alcohol use. Our providers are up to date with the most recent guidelines in alcohol misuse treatment and want to partner with you in improving your overall health. Never be afraid to be honest with us and express your concerns.