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Immigrant Visa Medical News: Alcohol Abuse Update

March 30, 2022 (1 min read)

Colorado attorney David N. Simmons reports: "The CDC has issued new guidance on alcohol abuse to panel physicians.  Gone is any reference to “1 DUI in the past five years or 2 DUIs in the past 10 years.”  Instead, the CDC guidance now refers physicians to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition). The CDC guidelines are here:  The DSM-5 has eliminated the distinction between alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse.  It also has eliminated legal problems related to alcohol (including DUI’s) as a criterion.  Instead, it refers to “Alcohol Use Disorder” and provides physicians with a list of 11 criteria for determining that a disorder exists.  Each criterion has a related question.  If an applicant answers TWO of the questions in the affirmative, then the physician will determine that the applicant has mild Alcohol Use Disorder.  Under CDC guidelines, that is sufficient to find the applicant inadmissible on medical grounds.  You may find the list, along with an explanation of the changes made in the DSM-5, here:  The good news is that the criteria only apply to behavior in the past year.  Regardless, we need to interview and prepare our clients for this new reality."