Smoking and drinking are two of the three leading causes of preventable deaths in the United
States today. Using both alcohol and tobacco significantly multiplies the risk of disease and
death from myocardial infarction, COPD, and multiple cancers. Combined use of these
substances is extremely common; people who drink are three times more likely than the general
population to smoke, and tobacco dependent individuals are four times more likely than the
general population to be alcohol-dependent.
Research has shown that there is a high prevalence of unmet substance abuse treatment need
among adult Emergency Department (ED) patients. The current project aims to conduct a pilot
feasibility study with 50 adult ED patients to develop a brief counseling intervention that
is feasible and acceptable to patients who are both smokers and at-risk drinkers to help them
reduce these behaviors.
The overarching aim of this line of research is to find the best treatment for ED patients
who are combo smokers and at-risk drinkers. The study will focus on the development of an
intervention that will be tested in a future larger scale randomized clinical trial.