Ook beschikbaar in het: Dutch


Noah is drunk

There’s a peculiar misconception between patients and doctors. Doctors are instructed to ask you about anything and everything if that’s what it takes to come to a good diagnosis and treatment.
But at the same time, doctors highly respect the privacy of their patients. If they’re sitting across from someone who somewhat smells of alcohol, the doctor may choose not to address it: ‘Hey, Noah, how’s the wine been these days?’
Instead, she’ll think: Noah knows that alcohol abuse is bad. If he wants to change it, he’ll bring it up himself. I won’t bring it up, it’s not up to me and I don’t want to embarrass him.

Drinking a bottle of wine every day

But Noah thinks the exact opposite. He thinks: ‘If my doctor really thought it was important, she’d bring it up. So I must be OK drinking that bottle of wine every day.’ This is just one example of how doctors and patients can completely misinterpret each other.

Research into alcohol abuse

In 2016, Jellinek conducted a fine study. They interviewed 432 people from Amsterdam aged over 30. 75% of the frequent drinkers indicates that they sometimes worry about their alcohol intake. And of that group, 18% would consider discussing this with their GP, but only 4% actually does so. Mr. de Vries is one of those people.

Here it comes: 80% of all drinkers would like and value it if their GP would bring it up her or himself! But the GP thinks that would be a violation of your privacy, and stays quiet because of it.

In short, give your GP a hand and bring it up yourself! ‘Dear GP, I know it’s not easy for you, but could we please discuss my alcohol abuse?’

If you’re still having difficulty dealing with this on your own and you want to kick this habit, please look here on the page about alcohol addiction for more information.