National Alcohol Screening Day 2023

Fri 7th Apr 2023

United States

National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) is an initiative first launched in 1999 by the National Institutes Of Health (NIH). The aim of this event is to increase public awareness that alcohol abuse and alcoholism (in which a person is dependent on alcohol), are recognized disorders which can be treated.

Throughout this day, members of the public are invited along to one of many screening centers across the United States. The people who visit the screening centers are dealt with on a case by case basis; they are asked to complete a written self-assessment about their alcohol use. Health care professionals at the centers then tailor advice to the person concerned.

When a persons use of alcohol has been assessed, they are then informed about the different types of alcohol related problems. Where relevant, the person is then given advice as to where help can be sought.

In some cases, it is a friend or family member of the person being screened who has an issue with alcohol. In such cases, professional advice is given on how to approach this other persons problem.

The first screening day in 1999, saw over 50,000 people visit the 1500 screening centers throughout the United States for advice; a higher than expected number of college students attended.

Alcohol abuse can be high in college students, who, whilst typically not dependent on alcohol, abuse it by frequently drinking large volumes. Excessive, often rapid, consumption of alcohol is also known as 'binge drinking'. In a follow up study of Alcohol Screening Day, it was found that 44% of college students interviewed, had consumed over four alcoholic drinks in a drinking session, on one or more occasions within 30 days.

Alcohol abuse can lead to many recognized health problems which can include anxiety, depression, sexual problems. Where alcohol abuse occurs over a longer period of time, there is increased risk of developing certain cancers, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure and heart problems.

National Alcohol Screening Day has grown into a nationally recognized awareness campaign; there is a dedicated website which covers this event.

Four areas of 'response' have been designated for National Alcohol Screening Day. These are titled:

  • CollegeResponse
  • WorkplaceResponse
  • CommunityResponse
  • Military Pathways

Each response is focussed on different aspects of society in which the public are given an opportunity for alcohol screening.

For example, the CollegeResponse provides alcohol screening to college students. The screenings may be online or in person at a college campus. 'In Person' screening kits are provided to educational establishments so they can run their own screening program on this day. The kits include, screening forms, magnets, posters, and educational information about alcohol abuse and healthy living.

The workplace, community and military response screening programs center around a customized website in which people are encouraged to take an online screening program for alcohol. As with the CollegeResponse, the aim of these screenings is to identify possible problems a person may have with alcohol and direct them to further assistance if required.

For those concerned that they may have a have a problem with alcohol a free online screening program is available.