Teenagers and young adults are often times unaware of the consequences that can arise from risky alcohol consumption. Underage drinking occurs regularly at high schools and colleges throughout the country; health officials are always on the look for new and innovative ways to combat the problem. Past research has shown that emergency rooms are perhaps the most effective place to reach people about drug and alcohol use. A new study has found that administering a brief intervention to underage drinkers during an ER visit could result in a decrease in their alcohol consumption and problems related to drinking in the coming year, ScienceDaily reports.
Researchers from University of Michigan Injury Center conducted a five-year trial which was funded by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. The goal of the study was to examine how effective emergency room interventions were at curbing future alcohol use and the injuries often associated with underage drinking, according to an article.
Common alcohol related problems include:
- Alcohol Related Injuries
- Drug Use
- Psychosocial Problems
The alcohol intervention was administered by a therapist or by a computer program. The researchers screened 4,389 patients, of which 24 percent reported risky drinking behaviors, the article reports. Either form of intervention was found to reduce underage drinking and the associated consequences.
“The study highlights that a single-session intervention in the emergency department can play a role in decreasing underage drinking among youth,” says Rebecca Cunningham, M.D., director of the U-M Injury Center and U-M professor of emergency medicine and public health. “Emergency department staff is focused on urgent medical care. The finding that the computer program brief intervention helped youth reduce risky drinking is very promising, especially as an approach that is easy for health care sites to use without requiring dedicated staff time to administer.”
The findings were published in Pediatrics.
If you or a loved one is living with alcohol use disorder, please contact Pace Recovery Center.