Alcohol misuse, ranging from binge drinking to chronic alcohol dependence, is the leading risk factor for trauma center admissions in the United States. Researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center, including ADAI director Dennis Donovan, proposed that clinicians could capitalize on the "teachable moment" that admission to a trauma center provides to increase the patient's motivation to change their alcohol use. The team received funding from the CDC to institute an alcohol screening and brief intervention program at Harborview, which was found to significantly reduce subsequent alcohol use and decrease the chance of repeat trauma center admission by nearly 50%. If broadly implemented, this program could lead to a cost-savings of $1.82 billion dollars annually in direct medical costs. Through CDC's funding and Harborview's evidence, trauma centers and physicians are now poised to better serve injured patients, attend to alcohol problems, reduce future injuries, and save lives!
Read more about this CDC-funded, Seattle success story at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/erpo/success_story.pdf.