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Health Agencies Update
May 24/31, 2016

Single Question Can Identify Youth at Risk for Alcohol Use Disorder

JAMA. 2016;315(20):2158. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.5611

Asking adolescents if they had 1 drink on 3 or more days over the past year appears to be an effective screening tool for identifying teenagers at risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD), potentially giving busy primary care physicians a quick way to assess adolescents for AUD, according to a recent study (Clark DB et al. J Pediatr. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.02.047 [published online April 5, 2016]).

“Primary care physicians are encouraged to screen adolescents for alcohol problems, yet many do not, citing time constraints and other issues,” said George Koob, PhD, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (http://1.usa.gov/25L2eoI). “This study demonstrates that simple screening tools such as those in NIAAA’s youth guide are efficient and effective.”

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