Alcohol Use Disorders (50) "Evidence-based alcohol care is easy"

14 February, 2024

While we were preparing this discussion last month, Eduardo shared a quote with us:

“We want healthcare professionals to know three things about evidence-based alcohol care: that it is important, that they can do it, and that it’s easy,” says Raye Litten, PhD, co-developer of The Healthcare Professional’s Core Resource on Alcohol (HPCR) and Director of the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Division of Treatment and Recovery.

Easy? I'm not sure that all health workers would agree. What do you think?

Perhaps what Raye Litten means is that there are some simple steps that can be taken to provide care. “They can quickly screen, provide a diagnosis, give advice, prescribe FDA-approved medications, and give referrals to a specialist if the case is severe.”

'The Healthcare Professional’s Core Resource on Alcohol consists of 14 interconnected articles covering the basics of what every healthcare professional needs to know about alcohol.'... The Core articles are aimed broadly at all practicing healthcare professionals...

'The Core was designed to help address common barriers to optimum alcohol-related healthcare by providing:

'Knowledge to fill common gaps in training about addiction, including the neuroscience of addiction, evidence-based AUD behavioral healthcare and medications, and the varied paths to recovery

Quick, validated alcohol screening and assessment tools that address time constraints while providing a definitive picture of drinking levels and, in those who drink heavily, any AUD symptoms

Clarity about what constitutes heavy drinking, AUD severity levels, and recovery to build confidence in providing brief advice to patients and collaborating on their plans for a healthier future

Steps to reduce stigma surrounding alcohol-related problems and encourage greater patient acceptance of alcohol treatment when needed...'

We would be interested to hear from frontline health professionals whether you find it easy to provide evidence-based alcohol care. Can you give any examples from your clinical experience?

What guidance have you found to be helpful to identify and manage patients with Alcohol Use Disorders?

A quick glance at the Healthcare Professional’s Core Resource on Alcohol suggests it is targeted to US health professionals (not 'all practicing healthcare professionals). For example, on page 1 the reader is recommended to 'advise patients who choose to drink to follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines'.

What has been the impact of this resource in the US? What are the key resources for clinicians in other countries?

We look forward to learn from your experience.

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: