ROCKVILLE, MD -- Doctors should be questioning patients about their alcohol use, according to a panel of medical experts.
The U.S. Preventive Task Force estimates one-third of Americans misuse alcohol, resulting in about 85,000 deaths each year.
But the panel found doctors could help patients cut down on drinking by offering counseling sessions to those with risky behaviors.
Studies showed counseling reduced heavy drinking by 12 percent and helped patients decrease their weekly alcohol consumption.
This study was led by researchers at the United States Preventive Services Task Force.