Alcohol misuse is defined as a spectrum of behaviors, including risky or excessive alcohol use, alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Risky or excessive alcohol use means drinking more than the amount that results in an increased risk of poor health outcomes. This includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking in pregnant or underage individuals.
Alcohol use in pregnancy is the cause of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a range of lifelong conditions that include physical and behavioral problems, as well as intellectual disabilities. You can prevent alcohol-related morbidity and mortality by recognizing the signs of misuse, discussing it openly with your patients, and pointing them to the best treatment options for their situation.
AAFP’s resources help you develop strategies for prevention, screening, treatment and counseling.
This CDC-funded project set out to increase family physicians’ use of alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) as a routine part of care, decrease risky alcohol use among women of reproductive age, including any alcohol use by pregnant women, and improve health outcomes.