At least 38 million American adults drink too much, yet only 1 in 6 people have talked to a healthcare professional about it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency is urging clinicians to initiate the discussion with their patients so they can seek help.
The CDC is advising medical professionals to use a set of questions for screening patients about how much and how often they use alcohol, and to caution them about potential dangers. Clinicians should also identify those who display alcohol dependence and refer them for treatment.
The 2010 US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that alcohol be consumed only in moderation: one drink per day for women, two drinks for men. Alcohol should be avoided by women who are or may be pregnant, and by people under 21.