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Vital Signs

What Percentage of Patients Are Alcohol Dependent and What Can Be Done in These Instances?

The January 2014 Vital Signs report urges healthcare professionals to aid in preventing alcoholism and excessive drinking by using alcohol screening and counseling. In this video, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, MD, MPH discusses the prevalence of alcohol dependence and the steps healthcare providers can take to help such as providing medication or getting them into specialized care. More than 30 years of research has shown that alcohol screening and brief counseling is effective at reducing risky drinking. However, this month’s Vital Signs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 1 in 6 adults — and only 1 in 4 binge drinkers — say a healthcare professional has ever talked about alcohol use with them. CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, shares strategies and tools to help doctors talk with their patients about alcohol use.

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