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Experts recommend an evidence-based public health approach to excessive alcohol use

alcohol
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Policymakers and public health officials have a critical role to play in reducing excessive alcohol use and alcohol use disorder, says the American College of Physicians in a new policy. "Excessive Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorders: A Policy Brief of the American College of Physicians," published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says that barriers need to be removed to accessing treatment and more needs to be done to reduce binge drinking and heavy drinking among young adults and other high-risk populations.

"Excessive drinking has substantial societal costs, driving up spending on health care and the criminal justice system and reducing workplace productivity," said Isaac O. Opole, MBChB, Ph.D., FACP, president, ACP. "Despite its impact and prevalence, is undertreated."

In the paper ACP reiterates that alcohol use disorder is a treatable chronic medical condition that should be addressed through evidence-based public health and health care initiatives. Among the recommendations, ACP supports training and payment and delivery system policies that would better enable physicians and other qualified health professionals to screen, diagnose and treat patients.

ACP also supports the implementation of evidence-based public health strategies to reduce and alcohol use disorder and emphasizes the need for them to be sufficiently funded. Finally, ACP calls on regulators, , educators, and the alcohol industry to make a concerted effort to reduce underage alcohol use.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. This public health program is organized by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to increase understanding and awareness of alcohol use disorder.

"Excessive alcohol use and alcohol use disorder are treatable conditions, and we need to ensure that as a society, we are doing what we can to reduce the harm they cause to our patients and society at large," concluded Dr. Opole. "More needs to be done to remove barriers to accessing treatment, preventing issues and promoting recovery."

More information: Ryan Crowley et al, Excessive Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorders: A Policy Brief of the American College of Physicians, Annals of Internal Medicine (2024). DOI: 10.7326/M23-3434

Journal information: Annals of Internal Medicine
Citation: Experts recommend an evidence-based public health approach to excessive alcohol use (2024, April 23) retrieved 15 June 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-04-experts-evidence-based-health-approach.html
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