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 are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance with those duties.

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