Tackling alcohol misuse: Should abstinence be our preferred approach?
The British Liver Trust is launching a new report today which argues that people with alcohol problems must be offered effective support and treatment to meet their individual needs, an‘individual person-centred journey’ as the Government’s drug strategy would describe it. There has been much talk about ‘recovery’ and ‘abstinence-based approaches’ for those with alcohol dependence. Our report suggests that it is vital that people who misuse alcohol are not treated by a one-size fits all abstinence approach; but, to be as successful as possible, healthcare professionals must work with patients to understand their preferences in setting goals to reduce their alcohol harm. Problem drinkers are after all a mixed bag of people with a range of mild, moderate and severe alcohol dependence.