Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Time to Change Our Advice on Alcohol

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Time to Change Our Advice on Alcohol

Article excerpt

Alcohol is a drug, the abuse of which is the third-leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States. Most clinicians intuitively appreciate that 80% of drinkers consume only 20% of all the alcohol used in the United States. In other words, most problem drinkers consume most of the alcohol and most drinkers are not problem drinkers. Perhaps as a result, clinicians may recommend the consumption of alcohol in moderation for its putative health-promoting effects (e.g., reduction in cardiovascular events and increases in HDL), hoping that patients can benefit without being put at risk.

I am personally guilty of such allowances among patients who already consume modestly. With all the potential negative consequences of alcohol use, it might not have taken much for me to change my clinical advice-giving.

Craig S. Knott and his colleagues conducted a study from the Health Survey for England encompassing the years 1998-2008 linked to national mortality data. …

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