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Health Agencies Update
November 23/30, 2011

Teen Alcohol Screening

JAMA. 2011;306(20):2207. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1700

A new 2-question screening tool for alcohol abuse is available to help clinicians identify problem drinking among teens. The tool was developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Binge drinking by teens can have serious immediate consequences, such as injury or overdose, and increase the risk of substance use problems in the longer term. To aid clinicians in identifying such problematic behavior, the new screening tool includes just 2 questions, one asking about the patient's friends' drinking behavior and one about the patient's own drinking habits. The screening tool and a guide for assessing alcohol use among teens is available on the NIAAA's Web site (http://tinyurl.com/6c7curh).

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