CHA News Article

NIH Study Finds Missed Opportunities for Underage Alcohol Screening

A new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), finds that doctors may be missing opportunities to screen teenagers for alcohol use and educate them about the risks. In a random survey of more than 2,500 10th grade students with an average age of 16, 34 percent reported drinking alcohol in the previous month. More than 80 percent said they had seen a doctor in the previous year, but just 54 percent were asked about drinking, and 40 percent were advised about the dangers of alcohol use.According to the NIAAA, studies show that screening and brief interventions by health care providers – asking patients about alcohol use and advising them to reduce risky drinking – can promote significant, lasting reductions in drinking levels and alcohol-related problems among adults. Accumulating evidence supports the use of alcohol screening among adolescents. The NIAAA’s study findings are now online in the February issue of Pediatrics.

A full news release about the study is available from the NIH at

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide, and its accompanying pocket-sized version, can be downloaded or ordered from the NIAAA website at