'Draft in GPs after terrorist attacks'
Referring to centres for treating alcohol misuse is an effective strategy that significantly reduces use of health care resources, researchers report.
Their study, published in the BMJ this week, found non-residential centres increased the number of alcohol-abstaining days almost 50 per cent after three months of treatment.
The proportion of patients across the study sample of over 600 who had an alcohol-related consultation plummeted from 94 per cent before treatment to 27 per cent afterwards.
Study author Professor Christine Godfrey, professor of health economics at the University of York, said: 'I think the real message to GPs is that there are evidence-based treatments out there.
'There are also savings in the short-term. For primary care commissioners they should see some pay-back in investing in evidence-based alcohol treatments.'
The research, based on the UK alcohol treatment trial, found the new social behaviour and network therapy and the tried and tested motivational enhancement therapy were equally effective.