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Substance and alcohol misuse

33% of men and 16% of women drink over the recommended NHS limits. Men should not regularly drink more than two pints of beer a day (3 - 4 units) and women one large glass of wine (2 - 3 units) day. Reducing alcohol consumption is one of the key public health priorities to tackle health inequality.

While drinking in moderation has benefits particularly for cardiovascular disease, misuse of alcohol has repercussions in terms of high avoidable morbidity and mortality as well as adverse social consequences.

The Trust is committed to work with other agencies to promote sensible drinking in the population through a co-ordinated approach to identify alcohol associated problems - working with NHS Hertfordshire (PCT) and in partnership with Turning Point - and raise awareness of the problems associated with alcohol. Further work will be undertaken to monitor the demand for alcohol services and continue to identify gaps in provisions within the Acute Trust.

Services available to support patients

Patients admitted to the Accident and Emergency department with substance and alcohol misuse related conditions will be offered, with their consent, a referral to an on-site Turning Point adviser who will co-ordinate an initial brief intervention discussion with a member of the Hertsreach team. In patient referrals can also be made from Heronsgate and Cassio wards as well as the Acute Admissions Unit (AAU) - at Watford General Hospital.

Clients wishing to be supported by Turning Point are offered a six-week brief intervention counselling programmed including links to other services and re-education. Every client will have a personal care plan produced.

Turning Point will arrange for referrals to be made to CDAT (Community Drugs and Alcohol Team) who will support clients through a detoxification and rehabilitation programme.

For under eighteens admitted to the Accident and Emergency department, a Turning Point adviser will issue them with a "binge" pack which includes contact details of a number of organisations young people can talk to who can provide confidential advice, support, specialist assessment and treatment.

Services available to support NHS employees

Members of staff wishing to seek help or advice may contact the Trust's Occupational department or external organisations who offer free and confidential support and advice.

Links to specialist organisations