Health care professionals at more than 1200 sites stand ready to educate the public about signs and symptoms of alcohol problems during the third annual National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) on Thursday, April 5, 2001.

Individuals concerned about their drinking or that of another may access free, confidential screening and research-based alcohol information at college and community health and counseling centers, hospitals, and clinics across the country. The health care professionals will discuss the clinical disorders alcohol abuse and alcoholism, as well as high-risk drinking, and help NASD participants to recognize indications of such problems.

Each site also will offer a brief, anonymous, self-administered screening test, consultation with a health professional, and referral to local resources for those in need of formal evaluation and possible treatment.

"National Alcohol Screening Day gives individuals the opportunity to explore whether alcohol is a problem and puts them in direct contact with resources that offer solutions," said Enoch Gordis, M.D., Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). "For at least one day each year, NASD also encourages our entire society to face alcohol problems head on."

NASD is a program of the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health, Inc., in partnership with the NIAAA and two components of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).

"This activity offers a great opportunity for people to assess their level of alcohol consumption and determine if they have a problem," said CSAT Director H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D. "NASD provides an excellent example of the way that CSAT regularly 'partners' with local communities to disseminate information about substance use."

"In our ongoing prevention efforts, National Alcohol Screening Day is a wonderful springboard to provide information and to educate people about alcohol problems," said CSAP Director Ruth Sanchez-Way, Ph.D.

Persons who wish to participate may call 1-800-405-9200 to determine a nearby site. The toll-free site locator line is operational 24 hours a day.

Sponsors of the 2001 event are:

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
American Academy of Physician Assistants
American Medical Association  
American Osteopathic Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association and its College of Professional Psychology
American Society of Addiction Medicine
College Parents of America
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
Higher Education Center for Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse & Violence Prevention (funded by the U.S. Depart. of Education)
Join Together
McLean Hospital
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
National Association for Children of Alcoholics
National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems
National Center for Farmworker Health
National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
National Interfraternity Conference
National Mental Health Association
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
National Panhellenic Conference
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

For an interview with Dr. Gordis, please contact 301/443-0595; for information about alcohol research, please contact 301/443-3860 or visit http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/.

For an interview with Dr. Clark, please contact 301/443-5052. For an interview with Dr. Sanchez-Way, please contact 301/443-0383. For information about alcohol treatment and prevention services, please visit http://www.samhsa.gov/.

For additional information about NASD or an interview with Screening for Mental Health Executive Director Douglas G. Jacobs, M.D., contact Screening for Mental Health (781/239-0071), visit http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org, or email info@mentalhealthscreening.org.