1 in 20 deaths globally are due to alcohol. New guidelines say you should be expecting an alcohol screening next time you see your doctor.
According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, all adults including pregnant women should be screened for their alcohol usage.
This new guideline has been discussed since 1996 but now has been updated. I talked to a Sanford Health doctor about the new guideline.
They say the conversation between doctors and patients about alcohol habits have been weak.
Studies show that doctors who have advised their patients to cut back on alcohol actually do. Excessive use of alcohol is the one the top causes of premature death in the US.
The alcohol screening is as simple as your doctor just asking about your drinking habits.
Sanford Health Doctor, Daniel Field, says don’t be afraid to talk to your physician.
“We are your doctors. I am an advocate for you. So I am your doctor. I am not your priest or your grandma. You should not feel ashamed or not want to talk to your doctor about your drinking habits,” says Field. “It’s our goal to have you live a healthy life style and live longer as best you can. So when you come into the doctor don’t be afraid to discuss that because that’s what we are here for.”
Field also added this guideline is not mandatory but he personally suggests that doctors should be aware of their patients history of alcohol use. He says he has helped many of his patients with their alcohol consumption just from doing alcohol screenings.