Adolescent binge drinking issues

July 05, 2005

During a web-based CME conference on June 14th, two of the nation's leading experts on substance abuse and toxicology presented the latest information on adolescent binge drinking. The conference was co-sponsored by the American College of Preventive Medicine and Medscape/WebMD. A free archive of the session is now available online at www.medscape.com.

Dr. Robin B. McFee of Emergistics US, Inc., and Dr. Michael M. Miller of the NewStart Alcohol/Drug Treatment Program at Meriter Hospital, delivered presentations and answered audience questions. Dr. George Lundberg, Editor-in-Chief of Medscape General Medicine, moderated the session. The conference provided critical information for practicing physicians, public health officials, and other front-line health providers who provide primary care and substance abuse treatment to adolescents, as well as to those who are concerned with the health and social implications of adolescent binge drinking.

The conference featured an overview of the epidemiology of binge drinking, including use patterns and trends, and the risks associated with this type of substance use. Participants also learned that approximately 75% of adolescent morbidity and mortality is associated with behavioral health risks, of which a large portion can be attributed to substance and alcohol use.

Dr. Miller, highlighting the impact of alcohol use and addiction on adolescent brain development, noted that "Some of the evidence...suggests that there may not be any safe levels of alcohol consumption for kids because of how sensitive the developing adolescent brain is to alcohol, especially in binge amounts." In describing clinical approaches to addressing the problem, Dr. McFee stressed the importance of age-appropriate adolescent health services and building rapport with adolescent patients. By using the 5 A's (anticipate, ask, advise, assist, arrange) method at every office visit, clinicians can build trust and assess an adolescents risk profile.
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To view an archive of the web-based conference visit www.medscape.com/viewprogram/4172 and register and log-in as a free Medscape user. You will be able to see and hear the program online. There is no cost to view the program or to obtain CME credit.

The American College of Preventive Medicine is the national professional society for physicians whose expertise and interest lie in disease prevention and health promotion (www.acpm.org). ACPM's more than 2,000 members are engaged in preventive medicine practice, teaching and research. Medscape from WebMD is the leading provider of online information and educational services for physicians and health care professionals (www.medscape.com).

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ACPM designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.5 category 1 credits towards the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those credits that he/she actually spent in the activity.

American College of Preventive Medicine

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