Management of alcohol misuse

Alcohol misuse is one of the most common causes of underlying liver disease, but often alcohol consumption is poorly documented. An honest and open conversation about a patient’s alcohol intake is very important to understand why their liver blood tests are abnormal. The weekly recommended alcohol consumption is 14 units of alcohol.

Every healthcare contact with a patient should be an opportunity to have a conversation about alcohol consumption and to offer brief advice about excessive alcohol consumption. These simple interventions do not need to be left to specialist community alcohol teams to intervene.

The AUDIT PC questionnaire (linked below) is a series of 5 questions to identify a patient who is drinking excess alcohol and potential dependence. If the result from the AUDIT PC score is positive (greater than 5), the AUDIT score can be completed which will give a better understanding of the extent of the patient’s alcohol intake and make a plan to support then to reduce their intake.

If a patient is not able to reduce their alcohol intake, they can be referred to a community alcohol team for more specialist reduction plans, detox from alcohol, support around relapse prevention and management of lifestyle changes to maintain their abstinence.

Mark as Understood

Resources

All-Wales Abnormal Liver Blood Test Pathway

Alcohol use disorders identification test; primary care (AUDIT PC)

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