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What is Brief Intervention?

What a brief intervention does is motivate us to look at our drinking pattern then help and support us to look at ways of making that pattern less risky to our health.

The majority of adults in Greater Glasgow and Clyde drink alcohol. In fact statistics show that only one person in every ten does not drink alcohol.

Those nine out of ten adults who do drink alcohol, however, do not drink the same amount or the same type of alcohol.

Some people drink once a week, some twice, some every day and some of us just drink at parties, festive occasions or maybe just once a year on our birthday!

There is a lot of research which informs us that a brief intervention is not only better than no intervention, but is also better than more extensive interventions like long term counselling.

Don’t forget the word brief. A typical intervention should take no more than ten (10) minutes.

In other words brief, as in brief intervention, means a short space of time, short in duration, succinct, concise, abrupt, in other words it doesn't take too long!

When brief interventions are done face to face, rather than on a website, they are also brief. Usually no less than five minutes but certainly no more than twenty.

Why would anyone want to do this?

What a brief intervention does is allow us, not only to look at the risk of our alcohol use but, to put mechanisms in place to reduce that risk.

A brief intervention does this in a non-confrontational, non-judgmental way, whereby you are in control. In fact the intervention motivates you to take responsibility for your own drinking pattern.  It also encourages you to be aware of any issues affecting your life and health because of the way you consume alcohol.

You can leave the intervention at any time, especially if you are feeling too uncomfortable or feel that you are not ready to make any changes to your alcohol use.

How does the Brief Intervention work?

First of all there is a short alcohol diary that asks how much alcohol you would drink in a normal week.  After this it will decide whether or not you are drinking sensibly or are a risky drinker by asking you a simple question which will then lead to a maximum of three more questions.

After this the assessment will calculate your drinking pattern then look at how confident and motivated you are in changing this pattern.  It will then offer you further support and advice options which may be of interest to you.

As mentioned before you can leave the website at any point although it is recommended that you complete the whole 10 minute assessment process if you choose to begin it.

The assessment tool works on the premise that in the majority of cases it only take a small change in someone's behaviour to make a big difference in their life.

For some users who are drinking regularly at harmful or dependent levels the assessment tool will take you to a longer and more detailed questionnaire.

Alcohol affects everyone differently and drinking regularly may not necessarily mean you are dependent or have a serious alcohol problem.

Remember a brief intervention is designed for people who drink alcohol at risky levels and is not really suitable for dependent drinkers.

This site is designed to help the user work out whether they are drinking too much and what they can do about it.

The majority of Greater Glasgow and Clyde's’ population are drinking at a risky level and most of us don’t realise it is risky.

The SIGN guidelines, a more detailed and professional description of brief interventions, can be found here

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