Fast Five Quiz: Alcohol Use and Abuse

Stephen Soreff, MD


January 03, 2019

Patients who present to the ED are more likely to have alcohol-related problems than those who present to primary care. The ED visit offers a potential "teachable moment" because of the association with a negative consequence of alcohol use. The ACEP suggests that brief interventions are effective; counseling sessions can be as short as 5 minutes. Q&F questions can help determine whether the patient exceeds recommended levels for moderate drinking. However, the CAGE questionnaire is better for identifying dependence, with a specificity of 90% and a sensitivity of 76% when administered in the ED.

Linking patients to alcohol-dependence services in the ED has proven to be successful and is recommended.

For more information on alcoholism, read here.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.