Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Prevention Task Force Issues Alcohol Misuse Recommendations, Seeks Comments

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) on Monday posted a draft recommendation on screening and counseling for alcohol misuse. The public can comment on this draft recommendation until October 22. The recommendation applies specifically to screening and counseling interventions to reduce alcohol misuse in primary care settings. It has two parts: The USPSTF recommended that clinicians screen all adults 18 and older and pregnant women for alcohol misuse and provide those engaged in risky or hazardous drinking with brief counseling interventions to reduce alcohol misuse. The task force also concluded that there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation about whether it is effective to screen and provide counseling to reduce alcohol misuse for adolescents aged 12 to 17, reaffirming its 2004 recommendation.

The draft recommendation has been posted for public comment at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org. The USPSTF is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine working to improve the health of Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

To address alcohol misuse in older Americans, Medicare now covers alcohol screenings in primary care settings. Read more in Psychiatric News here.

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