This guideline covers identifying, assessing and managing alcohol-use disorders (harmful drinking and alcohol dependence) in adults and young people aged 10–17 years. It aims to reduce harms (such as liver disease, heart problems, depression and anxiety) from alcohol by improving assessment and setting goals for reducing alcohol consumption.

NICE has also produced guidelines on alcohol-use disorders: prevention (public health guidance on preventing alcohol misuse) and alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis and clinical management of alcohol-related physical complications.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People with alcohol-use disorders, their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We reviewed the evidence in April 2015. We found nothing new that affects the recommendations in this guideline.

Next review: 2019

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)