WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A nationwide campaign is underway to expose a hidden problem affecting millions of Americans. During the month of April and on National Alcohol Screening Day (April 5), nearly a thousand community-based organizations, colleges and military installations will offer free, anonymous alcohol screenings. The screenings, available both in-person and online at www.HowDoYouScore.org, help individuals understand the difference between moderate alcohol use, dangerous drinking and alcohol abuse, as well as provide treatment resources, when necessary.
"Alcohol abuse is a huge problem in our society that affects every demographic – and it's often a hidden problem," said Douglas G. Jacobs, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the founder of Screening for Mental Health, Inc., the nonprofit that sponsors the program. "National Alcohol Screening Day sheds light on this important issue, and the anonymous, online screenings provide a non-threatening way for individuals to assess whether alcohol may be negatively impacting their health and life."
Many people who drink do so without harmful or hazardous effects, but some people have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or suffer negative consequences as a result of their drinking habits. There are many rungs on the ladder from sobriety to alcoholism. Furthermore, these problems often go unrecognized by the individual and unseen by those around them. And yet the consequences can still be devastating.
The goal of this program is to get individuals to think about how, when and why they drink. Not everyone who scores positive on the assessment requires treatment, but research shows that screening can be a useful tool in getting people to rethink their drinking habits.
"While the screenings don't constitute a formal diagnosis, they certainly give people a good indication of whether they should seek further help," added Dr. Jacobs. "NASD is such an important day of outreach to people who may be battling a serious problem on their own when they really don't have to. There is a lot of support out there."
National Alcohol Screening Day, held in April as part of Alcohol Awareness Month, is a program of the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH). Visit www.HowDoYouScore.org to find participating organizations or to take the screening online. To learn more about NASD, visit www.NationalAlcoholScreeningDay.org.
SOURCE Screening for Mental Health