LASALLE — Today, Thursday, North Central Behavioral Health Systems (NCBHS) will participate in National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD). NASD is an educational program provided through the national nonprofit, Screening for Mental Health. The initiative raises awareness about alcohol misuse and helps individuals with alcohol problems find opportunities for assessment and treatment. Thousands of community-based organizations, colleges and military installations provide the program to the public each year.
To help direct members of the community to appropriate care, NCBHS is providing online screenings at http://www.ncbhs.org/online-screenings. The screening is free and anonymous, and provides a comfortable and private way for individuals to assess their drinking habits. While the screening is not diagnostic, it will indicate existing symptoms and if further assessment by a clinician is advisable.
Alcohol abuse can often occur with other mental health issues and can exacerbate the symptoms of illnesses such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Alcohol is often used to “medicate” these disorders, but being a depressant itself, it can make the problem worse.
“While there are social pressures to drink, there are also very serious consequences when it comes to alcohol abuse,” says NCBHS therapist Tammy Thieme. National Alcohol Screening Day is a chance for anyone to take a screening and learn where they really stand with their alcohol intake, without fear of discrimination or criticism.
North Central Behavioral Health Systems, Inc. is a non-profit behavioral health care organization serving the Northern counties of LaSalle, Bureau, Marshall, Putnam, Stark and the southern counties of Fulton and McDonough in North Central Illinois.