Alcohol: Preventing Harmful Drinking
Alcohol is more harmful than any other drug overall, when physical, psychological and social harm are taken into account. There were 8664 alcohol-related deaths in the UK in 2009. Every GP is estimated to see around 364 heavy drinkers every year and will see more who are drinking less heavily but whose alcohol consumption is still putting their health at risk. GPs are therefore in an ideal position to prevent the significant mortality and morbidity associated with high alcohol consumption. This can be done by early identification of those who are drinking more than is healthy and by providing brief interventions before drinking becomes harmful.