Stay involved in Politics, because there is an effect on Treatment Funding.
Around 7.1 million people in England drink hazardously or harmfully, and a further 1.1 million are dependent on alcohol. Motivational interviewing is widely used to treat people with alcohol problems and is probably the best described example of a brief intervention.
However, some recent trials have been disappointing. Specialized alcohol treatment services have also suffered from weakness in the evidence base. Investment in treating alcohol misuse has fallen far behind that for drug abuse.
The Department of Health’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England embraces policies that are high-profile and cheap but are ineffective and ignore many useful measures. It recommends stepped care for alcohol treatment, but unlike the equivalent for drugs treatment, it sets no targets and leaves the small (7%) increase in funding to the discretion of local purchasers.
UK spending on specialized treatment for drug misuse is estimated to be around £600 million for 2007 – around three times the estimated cost of treatment for alcohol abuse. More information to follow on Drug Treatment Policies in the USA and around the World.