Leo Sher, M.D.
Our research work, “Prevalence of alcohol misuse among adolescents and young adults evaluated in a primary care setting” was published 15 years ago in the January-March 2006 issue of the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health (1).
The prevalence of alcohol misuse among older adolescents and young adults was evaluated in a primary care setting using the CAGE questionnaire. A general practitioner interviewed primary care patients aged 18-30 years. The CAGE questionnaire is derived from the following four items: (1) Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? (2) Have people annoyed you about your drinking? (3) Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? (4) Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hang-over? (eyeopener).
29.5% of adolescents and young adults answered “yes” to at least one question of the CAGE questionnaire. 7.4% of study participants answered “yes” to at least two CAGE questions. There were more males than females among subjects who answered “yes” to at least one question. Also, males more commonly gave an affirmative answer to at least two CAGE questions.
Our study indicates that a significant number of older adolescents and young adults evaluated at a primary care center misuse alcohol. The development of prevention interventions among the younger population may allow to reduce the serious impact of alcohol misuse on society.
1. Carballo JJ, Oquendo MA, Giner L, Garcia-Parajua P, Iglesias JJ, Goldberg PH, Zalsman G, Chaudhury SR, Sher L. Prevalence of alcohol misuse among adolescents and young adults evaluated in a primary care setting. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2006 Jan-Mar;18(1):197-202. doi: 10.1515/ijamh.2006.18.1.197.