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Changing unhealthy behaviours 

Changing unhealthy behaviours
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date: 07 March 2021

The treatment and prevention of alcohol-related harm requires that attention is paid not only to alcohol dependence, but also to hazardous and harmful drinking. The prevalence of these problems is high, amounting to about one in four of the adult population of the United Kingdom. The usual goal of intervention is to reduce drinking to low-risk levels, although it may also be abstinence. Screening patients for alcohol problems and providing brief interventions to those identified are potentially effective ways of improving patients’ health and reducing their risk of future harm. The intervention of simple, structured advice can be delivered without extensive training in 3 to 5 minutes. More intensive brief behavioural counselling requires training and takes 20 to 30 minutes, often with follow-up visits.

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