CDC estimates that of the 38 million problem drinkers in the country, only one in six have come clean to a health professional
by JONATHAN M. METSCH, DR.P.H., LLC
Apr 28, 2014 | 337 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We all know family members, friends and colleagues who deny their alcoholism. A recent New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com reports that they don’t tell their doctors either therefore doctors need to focus more on diagnosing alcoholism.

“Every family has a tortured soul in a closet whose door doesn’t quite close. The demons inside are all too visible to friends and family, neighbors and doormen, even the staff of the emergency room. To the outside world, though, not a hint of a problem displays, and that includes colleagues, clients and always, especially, the doctor.”

“There are some tools to trap the elusive user, but not nearly enough. The standard implements of the trade sometimes come through: A physical exam can turn up the needle user’s track marks or the alcoholic’s swollen salivary glands. Routine lab work occasionally yields clues, as can studiedly casual chat (“What are you up to this weekend?”). A variety of more pointed questions (“Do you ever need a drink to get going in the morning?”) have been scientifically validated to pick up many serious problems.”

“Doctors are often just not in the mood for a long, fraught investigation. They may feel too much empathy and respect for a patient who is clearly a pillar of the community. They may be up to their armpits in the patient’s other problems…predictably forgetting, as studies have demonstrated, that addiction can be the source of most of those problems.

To read full NYTs article “What Patients Don’t Tell Their Doctors by Abigai Zuger, M.D.– highlight and click on open hyperlink

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/what-patients-dont-tell-their-doctors/?ref=health&_r=1

Note: This blog shares general information about understanding and navigating the health care system. For specific medical advice about your own problems, issues and options talk to your personal physician.

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