Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions is an evidence-based intervention directed at people drinking at increasing and higher risk levels who are not typically seeking help for an alcohol problem.
There is a significant body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of these interventions. This identifies that for every eight people who receive simple alcohol advice, one will reduce their drinking to within lower-risk levels and that those who receive IBA as part of a visit to hospital Emergency Departments are less likely to re-attend.
NICE recommends that the NHS and local authorities prioritise the prevention of alcohol-use disorders as an ‘invest to save’ measure. They recommend that NHS professionals routinely carry out alcohol IBA as an integral part of practice and suggest that this can take place as part of new patient registrations, when screening for other conditions, when managing a range of chronic diseases or when promoting sexual health.
Furthermore NICE recommends that appropriately trained non-NHS professionals can also effectively deliver these interventions as part of interactions within the criminal justice system, drug treatment services, social services and higher education
Courses can be tailor-made from the following elements:
- Explaining the purpose of screening
- Identifying the range of screening tools
- Using the AUDIT tool to identify increasing-risk and high-risk drinking
- Delivering simple brief advice to bring about changes in drinking behaviour using the FRAMES model
- Identifying when onward referral is required and how to make such referrals appropriately