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CONTACT: TOM MOORE
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-3945
e-mail: thomas-moore@uiowa.edu

Release: March 31, 2000

National Alcohol Screening Day is April 6

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Behavioral Health and UI Faculty and Staff Services will offer free, anonymous screenings for alcohol problems as part of National Alcohol Screening Day, Thursday, April 6.

The free screenings will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 5003 in Boyd Tower at the UI Hospitals and Clinics, and at Faculty and Staff Services in Room 121 in the University Services Building. For more information or to schedule a confidential appointment, call UI Health Access at (319) 384-8442.

National Alcohol Screening Day, held in April as part of Alcohol Awareness Month, is a program of the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health in partnership with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). It will be held across the country at approximately 1,500 screening sites, including hospitals, alcohol and addiction treatment centers, and colleges.

Participants at these screening sites will have the opportunity to complete a written self-test and talk one-on-one with a health professional. An educational video, pamphlets, brochures and flyers will be available, as well as referrals to local treatment programs and support resources for those who need further evaluation.

Enoch Gordis, M.D., director of the NIAAA, said, "One of America's most profound and persistent health problems, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence cost society $185 billion each year. Nearly 14 million people in the United States -- one in every 13 adults -- have an alcohol disorder. We hope that the second annual National Alcohol Screening Day will help to increase public understanding of alcohol abuse and alcoholism as clinical disorders that can be treated."

H. Westley Clark, M.D., director of the CSAT, explained, "It is important for individuals to know about the negative effects of problem drinking. Excessive alcohol use raises the risk of stroke, heart disease, suicides and birth defects, and leads to a large proportion of unintentional deaths from falls, burns and drowning. This program is an excellent vehicle for individuals and families who have questions about problem drinking and all of its adverse effects.

National Alcohol Screening Day is aimed at the general community and all are invited to attend. The program is designed to educate the public about alcohol problems and offer those who may be struggling with a problem with alcohol an avenue to seek help. Based on the model used for the successful National Depression Screening Day, the program aims to help people in a non-threatening manner, is easily accessible and offers direct connection with treatment resources in the community.

For additional information, contact Mary Ann Miller at (319) 384-8765 or Joan Rinner at (319) 335-2085.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.