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Aust Fam Physician. 2008 Jan-Feb;37(1-2):16-9.

Alcohol intervention--what works?

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Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Fitzroy, Victoria.



The majority of alcohol related problems in the community are managed in general practice. Screening and provision of brief interventions by general practitioners can impact on morbidity and mortality. General practitioners also play a central role in the management of alcohol dependence.


This article discusses risky drinking and the prevalence of alcohol problems. It describes evidence based approaches to alcohol related problems in primary care.


Opportunistic screening and brief interventions in the general practice setting can have a sizeable impact on alcohol consumption rates among hazardous and harmful drinkers. They are low cost and easy and quick to implement. Patients with alcohol dependence will usually require a period of abstinence and more intensive treatment. They may benefit from alcohol pharmacotherapy, although the effects may be modest. Combining pharmacotherapy with referral to a psychologist for cognitive behavioural therapy may result in better outcomes than pharmacotherapy alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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