Young binge drinkers may not need special counseling from family docs

March 10, 2014
Young binge drinkers may not need special counseling from family docs
Swiss study suggests results just as good for physicians without certain training.

(HealthDay)—Special counseling from family doctors had no effect on young people's binge drinking or marijuana use, new research suggests.

The study included 33 and pediatricians in Switzerland and nearly 600 aged 15 to 24. About half of the patients reported (more than five drinks in one sitting) or marijuana use.

The doctors—most of whom had previous training in working with youth and alcohol-related issues—were divided into two groups. One group provided usual care while the other group was trained in counseling that had proven effective when dealing with .

A year after seeing the doctors, the number of patients who reported excessive substance use had decreased by 28 percent. But there was no significant difference between patients who received counseling and those who received usual care, the study found.

The findings were published March 6 in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

"Training family doctors to deliver a brief intervention to address excessive substance use failed to reduce binge drinking and excessive cannabis use among young patients at three, six and 12 months follow-up," wrote researcher Dr. Dagmar Haller and colleagues in a journal news release. Haller is with the University of Geneva and Geneva University Hospitals, as well as the University of Melbourne, in Australia.

"Formal training in using the brief intervention may only have had a modest impact on the ability of experienced and interested family physicians to adapt their communication style with young people," the researchers suggested.

They said, however, that the findings do not indicate that family physicians have no role to play in reducing in young patients. Further research is needed to determine effective approaches that can be used by family doctors, the study authors said.

Explore further: CDC: Docs aren't doing enough to discourage problem drinking

More information: The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism outlines what parents can do to prevent their children from drinking.

Related Stories

CDC: Docs aren't doing enough to discourage problem drinking

January 7, 2014
(HealthDay)—Doctors aren't talking often enough with their patients about the harmful effects of alcohol, even if those patients are binge drinkers, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday.

Expressing concern about binge drinking can influence student choices

July 18, 2013
Jeff Hayes, a professor of counseling psychology in Penn State's College of Education, helped conduct a study and co-wrote a journal article on alcohol consumption of college-aged students. The study focused on how students ...

Binge drinking five-plus drinks common for high school seniors, some drink more

September 16, 2013
Consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row is common among high school seniors, with some students engaging in extreme binge drinking of as many as 15 or more drinks, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Simple intervention helps doctors communicate better when prescribing medications

January 15, 2013
When it comes to prescribing medications to their patients, physicians could use a dose of extra training, according to a new study led by a UCLA researcher.

Over-65s are frequent binge drinkers: US study

January 10, 2012
Binge drinking is more common in the United States than previously thought, particularly among young adults, though the most frequent offenders are over 65, said a US government study on Tuesday.

Doctors often miss signs of problem drinking in patients, study finds

January 15, 2013
(HealthDay)—Doctors fail to diagnose most patients with alcohol problems when they rely solely on their suspicions, rather than using proven screening methods, a new study finds.

Recommended for you

Trying to get sober? NIH offers tool to help find good care

October 3, 2017
The phone calls come—from fellow scientists and desperate strangers—with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober?

Medical students need training to prescribe medical marijuana

September 15, 2017
Although 29 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes, few medical students are being trained how to prescribe the drug. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis ...

Protein links alcohol abuse and changes in brain's reward center

September 8, 2017
When given access to alcohol, over time mice develop a pattern similar to what we would call "problem drinking" in people, but the brain mechanisms that drive this shift have been unclear. Now a team of UC San Francisco researchers ...

11 minutes of mindfulness training helps drinkers cut back

August 24, 2017
Brief training in mindfulness strategies could help heavy drinkers start to cut back on alcohol consumption, finds a new UCL study.

Marijuana use amongst youth stable, but substance abuse admissions up

August 15, 2017
While marijuana use amongst youth remains stable, youth admission to substance abuse treatment facilities has increased, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Report reveals underground US haven for heroin, drug users

August 8, 2017
A safe haven where drug users inject themselves with heroin and other drugs has been quietly operating in the United States for the past three years, a report reveals.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.