I read something shocking today. 90% of patients who drink too much alcohol are not screened or counselled about problem drinking and the risks of drinking too much alcohol. In other words we do a terrible job in medicine screening and helping patients who drink too much. For this reason our patients will notice that we are attempting to do a brief screening of all our adult patients.
How much it too much alchol? Well the experts agree this means drinking 5 or more drinks in a day or 15 or more drinks in a week for men, and for women it means 4 or more drinks in a given day or 8 or more drinks per week. Alcohol has a stronger effect upon women than upon men.
For some this may sound too conservative. But drinking this much alcohol puts a patient at risk for any of the following medical conditions: High blood pressure, enlarged heart, irregular heart beat, liver disease, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, neuropathy, diabetes, elevated triglycerides, decreased fertility in women and birth defects in children, gout, insomnia, depression and cancer.
In addition to tranquilizers, the FDA has approved three medications to help a patient quit drinking. They are antabuse, naltrexone and campral.
Alcoholics Anonymous and many other support and counselling agencies are available here in Tucson. For more information for yourself or a loved one, we are available to you here in central Tucson….Stone and Glenn.