Easier way for doctors to identify substance abuse? - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Easier way for doctors to identify substance abuse?

Updated: Jan 16, 2014 02:59 PM
© Hemera / Thinkstock © Hemera / Thinkstock
  • Melissa's HealthworksMore>>

  • How to reduce those food allergies

    How to reduce those food allergies

    Monday, July 14 2014 4:28 PM EDT2014-07-14 20:28:55 GMT
    Ask the DoctorAsk the Doctor
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
  • A surprising health boost

    A surprising health boost

    Monday, July 14 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-14 18:56:08 GMT
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
  • Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Monday, July 7 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-07 19:00:50 GMT
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.

THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A single question may help doctors determine whether a patient has a drug or alcohol problem and the level of abuse, a new study suggests.

Keep it simple is the message from the study of nearly 300 people recruited from the Boston Medical Center primary care clinic.

"We found that single questions may be useful in both screening and preliminary assessment" of substance-use severity, lead author Dr. Richard Saitz, chair and professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, said in a university news release.

"Instead of extensive interviews or long questionnaires, which are a barrier to screening in primary care settings, this approach may make it much easier to identify and appropriately address unhealthy substance use," added Saitz.

The participants were asked how many times in the past year they had consumed five or more drinks in a day (men) and four or more drinks in a day (women).

They were also asked how many times in the past year they had used an illegal drug or used a prescription medicine for nonmedical reasons.

The alcohol-use screening question detected 88 percent of people with alcohol dependence. The drug-use question identified 97 percent of those with drug dependence, the researchers say. The results were similar to those achieved with longer screening tests, according to the study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Information about a drug or alcohol problem is especially useful if it can be obtained quickly at the time of screening. In general, determining a patient's risk and severity of drug or alcohol abuse has required questionnaires, some with more than 80 items with multiple response options, according to the study.

"We're moving from identifying the problem to being able to gauge, in a relatively quick and simple way, whether it is severe enough to warrant more urgent attention," Saitz said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about substance abuse.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices