Alcohol related risks usually don’t appear until later in life. People who drink alcohol excessively increase their risk of liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, pancreatitis, and even some forms of cancer. That being said the month of April is considered Alcohol Awareness Month and raises a specific awareness on the ninth with National Alcohol Screening Day. Screening your patients and informing them and their care givers about the risks and dangers of alcohol abuse is important and can be life-saving under many different circumstances.
Just by cutting down on how much alcohol you consume or even opting for low-calorie alternatives can help you maintain a healthier weight and appearance, considering alcohol has a high calorie content. Excessive alcohol consumption can also affect how well you sleep at night by possibly causing sleep disturbances as well as development of mental health difficulties, or even make existing problems worse.
If determined necessary by a Primary Care Provider, patients with Medicare can be provided with an annual alcohol screening under the “Screening and Behavioral Counseling Interventions in Primary Care to Reduce Alcohol Misuse” benefit. Typically, an alcohol screening is provided when a Primary Care Provider notices a patient’s need for help to reduce or abstain from the consumption of alcohol.
Medicare patients whom screen positive may be eligible for counseling. The Primary Care Provider then can perform the counseling for the patients that are competent and alert. Taking the steps to reduce and prevent alcohol abuse isn’t a difficult process when you seek the proper help and attention from your Primary Care Provider.