More Scots get help to cut drinking
Almost 100,000 Scots were helped to cut their drinking last year according to new figures.
Statistics released today by NHS National Services Scotland show that in 2011-12, 97,830 ‘Alcohol Brief Interventions’ (ABIs) were carried out – 60 per cent above the target of 61,081 interventions - and that every health board exceeded its target. This is a marked increase from 2010-11 when over 88,000 ABIs were delivered.
Alcohol Brief Interventions are used for patients in the NHS when it is clear they may be drinking above sensible guidelines and alcohol may be a factor in their ill-health. ABIs typically take the form of a short discussion with a health professional to talk about their drinking, the benefits of cutting down and, if necessary, further advice or support.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:
"This is tremendous progress in helping Scots cut down on their drinking, with successful delivery of the national ABI programme across Scotland. Health boards should be encouraged by this news and congratulated for meeting their targets.
“This is an evidence-based and cost effective preventative intervention that has now helped over 270,000 people in the last four years to think about and cut down their drinking, potentially reducing the requirement for more costly alcohol related treatments later on.
“Early intervention and prevention is just one of our coherent approaches to tackling Scotland’s alcohol problems, in which we have invested £196 million since 2008. Our long term aim is that brief interventions will become part of routine practice when patients use the NHS, which will help to improve the health of people living in Scotland.
“I’m also delighted to note the publication of a separate report today that shows we are well on track to achieve a national target, due to be met by March 2013, which will ensure people with an existing drug or alcohol problem receive appropriate treatment within three weeks to support their recovery.”
Alcohol Brief Interventions 2011 -12 statistics