April 5 Is U.S. Alcohol Screening Day

Group offers anonymous testing to determine dependency, paths to recovery

WEDNESDAY, April 4, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who suspect they may have a drinking problem can take a free, anonymous screening test on Thursday, April 5 -- National Alcohol Screening Day.

Participants can complete a written questionnaire designed to evaluate their alcohol use and then talk with a health professional about the questionnaire's results and any follow-up steps, if needed.

"National Alcohol Screening Day helps people assess their own drinking behaviors and identify resources for help. When you ask yourself -- 'Is my drinking affecting my job, my relationships or my health?' -- you might be surprised by the answer," Dr. Douglas G. Jacobs, president and CEO of Screening for Mental Health, said in a prepared statement.

The nonprofit organization sponsors National Alcohol Screening Day, held as part of Alcohol Awareness Month each April.

Of the people who took the online self-assessment between Jan. 1, 2006, and March 18, 2007, 66 percent scored positive for symptoms of an alcohol problem.

"Many people don't know what constitutes moderate alcohol use. For men, it is no more than two drinks per day, and for women and seniors, it is no more than one drink per day. If you are drinking more than that, it could be the sign of a problem," Jacobs said.

Signs of a drinking problem include:

  • Drinking to calm nerves, forget worries or boost a sad mood.
  • Guilt about drinking.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to reduce or stop drinking.
  • Lying about or hiding drinking habits.
  • Causing harm to oneself or someone else as a result of drinking.
  • Needing to drink increasing amounts of alcohol in order achieve the desired effect.
  • Feeling irritable, resentful or unreasonable when not drinking.
  • Medical, social, family, or financial problems caused by drinking.

More information

You can find the screening site nearest you or take an online assessment by going to the National Alcohol Screening Day Web site.

SOURCE: Screening for Mental Health Inc., news release, April 2, 2007
Consumer News