May 19, 2010
News Summary The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) has recommended that doctors screen all of their young patients for alcohol use starting in middle school, the Wausau Daily Herald reported May 15.
The AAP Committee on Substance Abuse released a revised policy statement on youth alcohol use on May 1. “A remarkable amount of brain development is still occurring for young people through their 20s,” said report lead author Patricia Kokotailo of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “This policy statement provides better evidence about how alcohol affects the brains of young people and why it is important to screen children.”
Committee chair Janet Williams of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio said that most doctors don’t routinely ask about youth alcohol use, and need to know how to provide prevention guidance and where to refer young drinkers to treatment.