Help is available for heavy drinkers

More people in Glasgow and the surrounding area have received help and advice about their alcohol consumption than ever before.

During 2013/14 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) staff provided Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABIs) to almost 19,000 people - exceeding the Scottish Government target by 31 per cent.

An ABI is carried out by staff who have short structured conversation with a person about their alcohol consumption. The aim is to motivate and support people to think about their drinking behaviour and if their consumption is causing a risk to their health, and staff provide advice and support to help them plan a change in their drinking behaviour.

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Nursing staff, midwives, and addiction liaison nurses working across NHSGGC’s acute services carry out ABIs in medical receiving and admissions wards, antenatal services, maxillofacial clinics and more recently, in A&E. Primary care staff have also been offering ABIs to people within local communities.

Anne Harkness, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Emergency Care and Medical Services, said: “I’m delighted that our staff are having conversations with people about their drinking habits.

“Alcohol-related illness and injuries have a massive affect on our health services. ABIs are just one way that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is helping to tackle to issue of alcohol misuse.

“Having this conversation is proving very useful as many people do not realise that just having a couple of glasses of wine a night can seriously affect their health – leading to long-term health problems.”