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February 7, 1996

Alcohol Interventions in Trauma Centers

Author Affiliations

American Society of Addiction Medicine New Fairfield, Conn

JAMA. 1996;275(5):358. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530290028018

To the Editor.  —Dr Gentilello and colleagues1 focus on a major public health problem, alcohol-related injuries. Alcohol is the third leading cause of death in the United States, most often the result of alcohol-related trauma. Survivors of alcohol-related injuries are common in community hospitals and trauma centers. Few health care institutions screen patients for alcohol, and many reasons and excuses are offered. Today these beliefs and attitudes must be addressed in each hospital considering starting to screen for alcohol. With that in mind, and as a direct result of American Medical Association (AMA) Resolution 190,2 which states that the AMA encourages the development of alcohol screening programs for injured patients admitted to hospitals, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment developed a treatment improvement protocol (TIP) entitled "Alcohol and Other Drug Screening of Hospitalized Trauma Patients." A TIP is a series of documents the goals of which are to