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Brief Alcohol Interventions in Social Service and Criminal Justice Settings: A Critical Commentary

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ruth McGovernORCiD, Professor Amy O'DonnellORCiD, Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Professor Peter Anderson, Professor Eileen KanerORCiD


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Screening and brief interventions (BI) have been shown to be effective in the management of alcohol consumption for non-treatment-seeking heavy drinkers, who are at physical and social risk, but not yet dependent. The robust evidence base for the effectiveness of BI in primary health care suggests an implementation in other settings could be beneficial. Given the association between alcohol and social problems, social work has a long history of working with persons with alcohol-use disorders, and social workers are often the first service provider to come into contact with heavy-drinking individuals. This critical commentary summarises the existing literature on BI effectiveness in social services and criminal justice settings, and discusses to which extent the social work field might be a promising area for BI delivery.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Schmidt C, McGovern R, Schulte B, O'Donnell A, Lehmann K, Kuhn S, Schafer I, Newbury-Birch D, Anderson P, Kaner E, Reimer J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Social Work

Year: 2014

Volume: 9

Print publication date: 29/09/2014

Online publication date: 29/09/2014

Acceptance date: 31/07/2014

ISSN (print): 0045-3102

ISSN (electronic): 1468-263X

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcu100


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Funder referenceFunder name
2011_1204European Union as part of the BISTAIRS (Brief interventions in the treatment of alcohol-use disorders in relevant settings) research project