AUDIT-ing Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol-Use-DisorderEvery day, all over the country, people enter local emergency rooms with injuries linked to alcohol consumption. A host of ailments can arise from drinking alcohol, both internal and external.

Physicians treating alcohol related injuries work to identify if the injury was the result of simply drinking too much, or if the injury is indicative of a more serious problem – such as an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Identifying if a patient has an AUD is crucial for physicians to intervene, and potentially guiding a patient towards treatment – reducing future trauma incidents.

AUDIT-ing Alcohol

New research suggests that a 10-point questionnaire is more effective in determining if a patient may have an AUD, compared to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, ScienceDaily reports. The questionnaire helps physicians identify who may be at risk of future drinking related injuries.

Designed by the World Health Organization and known as the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), the questionnaire assesses:

  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Drinking Behaviors
  • Alcohol-Related Problems

“The potential cost savings from reducing trauma visits could amount to more than $1.8 billion a year, making screening and intervention for at-risk drinking one of the single most cost-effective preventative healthcare measures,” said Mark Mitchell, DO, president of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine.

The Research

The study, conducted by researchers at Loyola University Medical Center indicated that the AUDIT questionnaire was 20 percent more effective at identifying at-risk drinking behavior, compared to BAC tests.

“Given the interactions between alcohol and trauma, screening and intervention for at-risk drinking behavior are important components of injury prevention and public health. Previous studies have shown that brief interventions with these patients can lead to a 50 percent reduction in future trauma visits,” said Timothy Plackett, DO, the study’s lead researcher.

The findings were published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

If you are or loved one is addicted to alcohol, please contact Next Step Intervention. We can assist you in finding the right treatment which will help you learn how to live a life free of alcohol.

American Adults With An Alcohol Use Disorder

AUD_150x150A ‘Legal’ Problem

Alcohol, the most commonly used drug on the planet, is a legal mind altering substance that some 240 million people are dependent on worldwide, according to a report on worldwide addiction statistics. In the United States, new research indicates that 14 percent of American adults currently have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), Time reports. What’s worse, only a small percentage of those with AUDs has ever received treatment.

Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used by doctors to diagnose mental disorders. Health care professionals are currently using the DSM-5, which has a new definition for AUDs, according to the article. An AUD is defined as having two of 11 symptoms, the more symptoms a person has – the more severe their AUD. Symptoms include:

  • Continuing to drink even if it harms relationships.
  • Drinking that harms performance at work or school.
  • A person has an inability to quit drinking.

The Research

At the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), researchers interviewed more than 36,000 adults about their drinking patterns, the article reports. The researchers noted that alcohol use disorder rates have increased over the past decade. The research indicated that 30% had been a problem drinker at some point in their lives, and 14% currently had drinking problems. Unfortunately, the study showed that only 20 percent of those interviewed had sought treatment for their AUD. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.


“These findings underscore that alcohol problems are deeply entrenched and significantly under-treated in our society,” NIAAA Director George F. Koob, PhD, said in a news release. “The new data should provide further impetus for scientists, clinicians, and policy makers to bring AUD treatment into the mainstream of medical practice.”

If you are currently struggling with an alcohol use disorder please do not hesitate to contact Next Step Intervention. We can help you assess your options and help you find the road to recovery.

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