If you are a health professional or organization with a focus on FASD this important announcement from CDC will be of interest. Also, be sure to sign up and attend the special Town Hall Conference January, 14, 2014 on alcohol screening and counseling.
This month’s CDC Vital Signs report presents our latest findings on how infrequently health professionals talk with adults about their alcohol use. Also highlighted in this report, are the key steps that can be taken by health professionals to conduct alcohol screening and counseling and how it can be implemented as a routine part of adult preventive care.
Attached are several Vital Signs materials, including the Vital Signs Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) article and a four-page consumer fact sheet. Key points in the Vital Signs report include:
§ Only 1 in 6 adults overall and 1 in 4 binge drinkers report that a health professional has ever talked with them about their alcohol consumption.
§ Even among adults who binge drink 10 times or more a month, only 1 in 3 have talked about their drinking.
§ Only 17% of pregnant women have talked with a health professional about their drinking.
To increase alcohol screening and counseling, doctors, nurses, health plans, and insurers can:
Screen all adult patients for alcohol use as part of their usual services, using current guidelines to do this effectively.
Counsel, refer, and track those patients who need more help.
Advise women not to drink at all if they are (or could be) pregnant.
Through insurers and employers, provide insurance coverage for alcohol screening and counseling.
Please share the CDC Vital Signs information broadly with your colleagues and partners. Visit the Alcohol Screening and Counseling Vital Signs Web page to find the Vital Signs MMWR article, fact sheet, and other materials. Take advantage of CDC’s social media tools, such as the Vital Signs buttons and email updates. You can have Vital Signs sent directly to your own website to display through our content syndication service. We also invite you to join us for the Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference on January 14 at 2pm (EDT).
Vital Signs is not just about data, it is about action. We look forward to continuing our work together to ensure that we do all we can to make alcohol screening and counseling a routine part of adult preventive care.
Thank you for your support.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Team
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention