Skip to main content

Alcoholism: Brief Intervention Guide for Harmful and Hazardous Drinking – WHO 2001

A Manual for Use in Primary Care

Brief interventions have proven to be effective and have become increasingly valuable in the management of individuals with hazardous and harmful drinking, thereby filling the gap between primary prevention efforts and more intensive treatment for persons with serious alcohol use disorders. Brief interventions also provide a valuable framework to facilitate referral of severe cases of alcohol dependence to specialized treatment.

This manual is written to help primary care workers – physicians, nurses, community health workers, and others – to deal with persons whose alcohol consumption has become hazardous or harmful to their health.
Its aim is to link scientific research to clinical practice by describing how to conduct brief interventions for patients with alcohol use disorders and those at risk of developing them. The manual may also be useful for social service providers, people in the criminal justice system, mental health workers, and anyone else who may be called on to intervene with a person who has alcohol-related problems.

This manual is designed to be used in conjunction with a companion document that describes how to screen for alcohol-related problems in primary health care, entitled “The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for Use in Primary Care”. Together these manuals describe a comprehensive approach to alcohol screening and brief intervention in primary health care.