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Binge Drinking Problem Ignored by American Doctors

on 21/01/14 at 1:08 pm

Booze News

binge_drinking-poisonBinge drinking is a grave problem ignored by American doctors. Many Americans binge drink but doctors don’t ask their patients about their alcohol consumption, and neither are patients warned about the dangers of binge drinking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report Tuesday on the statistics for binge drinking. The patient data involved 44 states and the District of Columbua. The data showed that one in six adults spoke with a medical professional about their drinking, which is a serious concern because an estimated 38 million Americans drink too much. Only one in four binge drinkers discuss their drinking habits with their doctors.

Binge drinking means over drinking on a single occasion. A woman is binge drinking when she consumes three or more alcoholic beverages in the span of a few hours, while for a man, four or more drinks equates to binge drinking. A drink is equivalent to five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said binge drinking is a problem that can be easily managed if doctors learn how to ask their patients about their drinking habits and set up alcohol screenings and counseling. Just as doctors screen patients for blood pressure, cholesterol, and eating habits, so should alcohol screening become part and parcel of the typical patient visit to a general practitioner.