The entries below are our accounts of documents collected by Drug and Alcohol Findings as relevant to improving outcomes from drug or alcohol interventions in the UK. The original documents were not published by Findings; click on the Titles to obtain copies. Free reprints may also be available from the authors. If displayed, click prepared e-mail to adapt the pre-prepared e-mail message or compose your own message. The Summary is intended to convey the findings and views expressed in the document. Below may be a commentary from Drug and Alcohol Findings.
For the future of alcohol screening and brief intervention in Britain, studies do not get more important than those highlighted in the first three entries in this bulletin. Awaited by government before extending the national primary care framework, this suite of three studies under the SIPS umbrella delivered remarkably consistent findings. Whatever the setting – primary care, emergency departments or probation – a year later the proportion of risky drinkers had fallen by 16–17%. And whatever the intervention, it made no substantial difference; an alcohol advice booklet plus a sentence or two warning the patient about their risky drinking was not improved on by adding extended and individualised counselling. Do just the minimum, is the message austerity-hit commissioners might take from the studies, but that would be to over-read their implications. Based on factsheets and conference presentations, this preliminary take on the findings will be updated as the academic analyses emerge. In this bulletin we also take the opportunity to draw attention to a relevant US guide.