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Alcohol Alcohol. 2004 May-Jun;39(3):256-61.

Drinking patterns and problems in emergency services in Poland.

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Public Health Institute, Alcohol Research Group, 2000 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA.



To examine drinking patterns and problems in emergency services in Poland, where both alcohol consumption and the health care system have undergone enormous recent change.


A probability sample of 734 emergency service patients was breathalyzed and interviewed in a large public hospital in Warsaw, Poland.


2.5% of the sample was breathalyzer positive; all were male and injured. Injured males were significantly more likely to report heavy problem drinking than non-injured, but no differences were found for females. Among injured males who reported drinking prior to the event, close to 50% reported feeling drunk, and over 75% attributed a causal association of their drinking with injury.


These data point to substantial alcohol-involvement on the part of injured males in this population, and suggest emergency services may be a productive venue for identifying those patients who would benefit from a brief intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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