Can Just Two Questions Help Predict Alcoholism?

In Addiction by Tree House Recovery

Listen to the stories men tell about their drinking careers throughout the course of their sobriety and you’ll hear one thing in particular change: the development of their alcoholism. Most men come to realize that their alcoholism, meaning their alcoholic behavior, really started long before they picked up their first drink. Certain personality traits, certain reactions to life experiences, certain difficulty coping with life in general- these small signs were details of a larger picture being painted which would be filled in by alcoholism. If I had known then…will start to say. if someone had known what was to come…you might hear. It was already so obvious…they will reflect.

Many researchers have taken these inquiries and made them scientific. Is there a way that we could detect the risk of alcoholism ahead of time? Can science find a way to predict the future and change the route of destiny for young people’s lives? According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a new screening consisting of just two questions demonstrated an incredible amount of validity in identifying youth who are at risk for developing an alcohol use disorder later in life. However, it is important to note, that the study’s conclusions are not able to say for sure that the screening will actually be able to predict alcohol issues in the future. It is also important to note that there was an initial screening and multiple follow up visits for three years following.

According to a practitioner’s guide published by the NIAAA, one in three children start drinking by the end of their eighth grade year. Half of those children report having been drunk before. By eighth grade, children are typically between the ages of 12-13.

One of the questions points to the drinking behavior of a child or teenager’s friends while the other points to the drinking behavior of the child or teenager themselves. For early teenage year young adults, the questions will look like this: 1) Do you have any friends who drank beer, wine, or any drink containing alcohol in the past year? or 1) If your friends drink, how many drinks do they usually drink on occasion? 2) How about you, in the past year on how may days have you had more than a few sips of beer, wine, or any drink containing alcohol? or 2) In the past year, on how many days have you had m ore than a few sips of beer, wine, or any drink containing alcohol?

These two simple screening questions about peers’ and personal drinking patterns can offer clinicians and family members a clear insight into the risk of AUD and open up the opportunity for early intervention, which can save a life.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. By showing our men how to celebrate each day’s victories, we show them that self love isn’t about what we have or haven’t done. It’s about getting a little closer to where we want to be. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (503) 850-2474