Stories about: pediatric role in teen drinking

Brief screening during doctor visit can dramatically reduce teenage drinking

By reviewing a computer based screening on patient alcohol use, doctors can help reduce underage drinking according to a new study

Can a doctor really persuade a teenager not to use alcohol or drugs with a two or three minute intervention? The answer is “yes,” according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.

Conducted by Sion Harris, PhD, CPH and her team at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR), the study demonstrates that a small effort on the part of patients and primary care physicians can go a long way in combating underage drinking.

“In just a few minutes we can make a significant impact in reducing teenage alcohol use,” says Harris. “By streamlining the alcohol screening process for clinicians and patients alike we can make the process easier and more efficient for everyone, which will yield more positive results.”

Teens in Harris’s study completed a five-minute computer-based survey, known as the CRAFFT, which asks six simple questions about alcohol and drug use. After the screening users are assigned a “score” and risk level based on their answers. They’re then directed to 10 illustrated pages of stories and science-based evidence about the serious health effects of alcohol and drug use.

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This week on Thrive: April 19-23

Missed a Thrive post this week? See what you’ve been missing…

Lisa Diller, MD, clinical director of Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston spoke to Thrive about her research concerning late effects of cancer treatment in children.

John Knight, MD, director at the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) at Children’s commented on a recent statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calling on pediatricians nationwide to be knowledgeable about teenage drinking, preventative measures to stop it and treatment options for adolescent substance abuse.

There’s plenty of data that suggest that an inability to get up in the morning is a medical condition, and should be treated as such.

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