Family doctors should begin screening patients for alcohol addiction at age 12, B.C. guideline says

published on December 18, 2019 by Camille Bains in CBC News - BC

Family doctors in British Columbia are being urged to annually screen every patient starting at age 12, in a move to prevent alcohol addiction, a leading cause of social and economic harms.

The guideline developed by the BC Centre on Substance Use and endorsed by the province encourages primary-care doctors to provide treatment and ongoing care themselves unless a complicated addiction has taken hold.

Dr. Keith Ahamad, an addiction specialist at St. Paul’s Hospital who helped write the guideline, said most alcohol-related issues including withdrawal management can be treated by family physicians but patients needing help are often not identified or treated.

“We’re not saying, ‘Oh, I think you have an alcohol addiction. Here’s a piece of paper, call this number,”’ Ahamad said in a recent interview…

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