Free alcohol screening offered

State officials are encouraging Oregonians to participate in National Alcohol Screening Day on April 5. People will have a chance to seek help with alcohol problems through this free educational program.

“Tens of thousands of Oregonians suffer from alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence,” said Barbara Cimagilo, the administrator of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Abuse of the Oregon Department of Human Services in a press release.Four communities in Oregon will participate in the third annual National Alcohol Screening Day: Eugene, La Grande, Portland and Tillamook. Of the six sites available, three are located in the Portland area. Oregon Health Sciences University will hold free screenings from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Project for Community Recovery, 1501 N.E. Third at Webster, will also hold screenings from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. American Mental Health Alliance, 1016 N.W. 17th Ave., will conduct screenings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The participants of the anonymous screenings will learn about a full range of alcohol problems, complete a brief written screening assessment of their or someone else’s alcohol use, and have an opportunity to talk privately with a substance abuse health professional. Individuals who are scored as having alcohol problems will be given names and telephone numbers of local treatment facilities.In 1998 Portland State University held a screening session. The majority of people that attended the screening were people who were worried about others or older people that have abused alcohol for a long time, said Susan Captein of the Counseling and Psychological Services at PSU. Most calls that were received during the screening were asking how to get people to the screening.

While Portland State is not known as a large party school, Captein believes that younger students are still at risk. Along with the incoherency problems associated with drinking, the biggest risks are car accidents, fights and date rape, Captein explained.