Vt. Health Dept. urges alcohol screening by docs

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Health Department is encouraging the state's health care providers to screen patients for alcohol abuse.

The department says 9 percent of Vermont adults were asked about their alcohol use by a doctor, nurse or health care professional. The figure is far less than the national average of about 16 percent.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention shows that alcohol screening and brief counseling can reduce the amount of alcohol consumed by those who drink too much.

Vermont officials say half of all adults age 18 to 24 drink to excess.

The Health Department hopes to educate health care professionals about the importance of asking adults about drinking habits as part of a regular checkup or appointment.

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