National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced key guidance on alcohol. This ranges from the clinical management of alcohol misuse and structured treatment interventions to public health and early intervention. These include:

  1. Alcohol use disorders:
  1. Alcohol use disorders: preventing harmful drinking
  2. Alcohol: preventing harmful alcohol use in the community


NICE PH24 Guidance recommends that NHS professionals should carry out alcohol screening as an integral part of practice. This is also relevant to all other services or organisations working with people. For instance, discussions should take place during:

  • New patient registrations
  • When screening for other conditions
  • When managing chronic disease or carrying out a medicine review
  • Antenatal appointments
  • When treating minor injuries

Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice

In Buckinghamshire around 1 in 4 adults drink at levels that are harmful to their health. Alcohol related hospital admissions cost the NHS 21.1m per annum.

Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) is a cost-effective and simple way to reduce risky drinking. It is promoted by NICE, the Department of Health and is part of the NHS health check programme.

IBA includes some simple key elements:

  • Identification of alcohol misuse using a validated screening tool such as AUDIT
  • Brief Advice (usually lasting 5-10 minutes). Tailored to the individual, highlighting the benefits of cutting down and tips to achieve it – where an individual is willing
  • Delivered in an empathetic way that aims to motivate and support an individual to change
  • Delivered opportunistically, for instance as part of health checks or new registrations

For information and how to book on current training for professionals see here.

For any questions regarding Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice training, please contact the Public Health Team,

Drugs and Alcohol Strategy

Please click the link below to view the Drugs and Alcohol Strategy 2023-2028.

Drugs and Alcohol Strategy 2023-2028.pdf

Drug Misuse

National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced products on drug misuse. This includes guidance, advice, NICE Pathways and quality

The products can be found at:

Last reviewed: 01/06/2023