Development sources

Evidence sources

The documents below contain clinical guideline recommendations or other recommendations that were used by the TEG to develop the quality standard statements and measures.

Policy context

It is important that the quality standard is considered alongside current policy documents, including:

Definitions and data sources

The definition of harmful (high-risk) alcohol use in this quality standard is that of the World Health Organisation (WHO) The International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (ICD-10): "a pattern of psychoactive substance use that is causing damage to health. The damage may be physical (for example, hepatitis) or mental (for example, depressive episodes secondary to heavy alcohol intake). Harmful use commonly, but not invariably, has adverse social consequences; social consequences in themselves, however, are not sufficient to justify a diagnosis of harmful use".

In ICD-10 the 'dependence syndrome' is defined as: "a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and that typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal state".

The term hazardous (increasing risk) drinking indicates a pattern of alcohol consumption that increases someone's risk of harm. Some would limit this definition to the physical or mental health consequences (as in harmful use). Others would include the social consequences. The term is currently used by WHO to describe this pattern of alcohol consumption. It is not a diagnostic term.

References included in the definitions and data sources sections can be found below: