In the handbook “Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide” — developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the American Academy of Pediatrics, a screening tool is offered along with ways to quickly determine a child’s risk for alcohol-related problems and interventions.

The questions will vary by age. Here are two examples:

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By asking and adolescent or teen “do you have any friends who drank beer, wine or any drink containing alcohol in the past year,” NIAAA specialists explain healthcare practitioners will get an “early warning signal that strongly predicts future drinking levels”.

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By asking a more personal question like “how about you – in the past year, on how many days have you had more than a few sips of beer, wine or any drink containing alcohol” the health care professional can quickly gauge alcohol-related behavior and possible problems in the adolescent or teen who has already begun drinking.

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A copy of the Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide is available at: www.niaaa.nih.gov or call (301) 443-3860.