Alcohol abuse is among the leading causes of death in the United States. While new treatments are being developed, the challenge lies in making more people aware that they are abusing alcohol and may need professional help.
A study recently published in the British Journal of General Practice said that there were two questions that resulted in an accurate diagnosis of 79.8 per cent of hidden substance abuse.
What were the questions?
"How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?" and "As a result of your drinking or drug use, did anything happen in the last year that you wish didn't happen?"
The likelihood further increased to 90.9 per cent when combined with the CAGE questionnaire (Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people annoyed you by criticising your drinking? Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover or serve as an eye opener?)
Conducted by scientists from the University of Leicester, the study involved surveying 5,646 respondents and looked into 17 previous studies on alcohol abuse to determine questions that would help in preliminary screening of alcohol abuse patients.
The authors said, "there is much interest in ultra-short alcohol screening." The study concluded that the two questions can serve as initial screening but should be followed by a second-step screen such as the CAGE questionnaire.
"A brief alcohol intervention should be considered in those individuals who answer positively on both steps," the study concluded.
For now, intervention comes in the form of counseling or anti-addiction programmes that last for weeks to several months.
The comprehensive treatment starts with an outpatient procedure to have a naltrexone implant inserted under the skin near the abdomen. The naltrexone reduces or eliminates the physical cravings for drugs and alcohol for several months. This allows the patient to focus on one-on-one life coaching sessions.
The life coaching helps the patient plan for a drug- and alcohol-free future and can be done in complete privacy or by involving family and friends in the recovery process.
The programme is now made available in Arizona, California, Connecticut and Nebraska. It continues to expand into other areas as BioCorRx continues to complete agreements with more clinics and addiction companies.
"Our goal is to have the Start Fresh Program available to anyone, anywhere in the country very soon," said Brady Granier, COO of BioCorRx.