Brief Counseling Effective for Problem Drinkers

Two ten-minute counseling sessions with a physician can dramatically reduce drinking among problem drinkers.

The University of Wisconsin Medical School conducted a study of 774 problem drinkers. All received a booklet, but half also had two ten-minute counseling sessions with their physicians. The doctors emphasized physical and psychological dangers of alcohol abuse.

A year later, recipients of brief counseling had reduced their weekly consumption of alcohol from an average of 19 to 11 drinks and had reduced their binge drinking by almost half. This was a much greater reduction than that reported by those who had only received the booklet.


  • Reuters, the Associated Press, and HealthScout News (5-3-02).

Filed Under: Alcohol Abuse