Mental health

Screening and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol use

[2012]

Recommendation(s)

Screening and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol use are recommended in non-specialist health care settings, except in areas of low prevalence. The brief intervention is still relevant in low prevalence areas/population groups.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG
Quality of evidence: LOW

Screening for hazardous and harmful alcohol use should be conducted, using a validated instrument that can be easily incorporated into routine clinical practice (e.g. AUDIT-3, AUDIT-C, ASSIST). In settings in which screening is not feasible or affordable, practitioners should explore alcohol consumption in their patients when relevant.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG
Quality of evidence: LOW

Patients with a hazardous and harmful alcohol use should receive a brief intervention. The brief intervention should comprise a single session of 5-30 minutes duration, incorporating individualised feedback and advice on reducing or ceasing alcohol consumption, and the offer of follow-up.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG
Quality of evidence: LOW

Patients who on screening are identified as having dependence should be managed according to the recommendations in the section on alcohol dependence.
Strength of recommendation: STRONG
Quality of evidence: LOW

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