Breaking new ground in the study and practice of alcohol brief interventions


Nick Heather PhD, Emeritus Professor of Alcohol & Other Drug Studies. Professor Nick Heather, Division of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK. Tel: +44 191 227 4521; Fax: +44 191 227 3191; E-mail:


This article amplifies the decision to subtitle the INEBRIA2009 Conference ‘Breaking New Ground’. The effectiveness of screening and brief intervention (SBI) for hazardous and harmful drinking is now well-established for primary health care and is promising for other medical settings. In addition, significant advances in the implementation of SBI are being made in various parts of the world. But, because of the need to establish efficacy and effectiveness, and perhaps too because of a preoccupation with meta-analysis of existing research findings, progress in other aspects of the theory and practice of SBI has been slower than ideal. There may also be a risk of complacency in the SBI field of study. For these reasons and others, the Conference Organizing Committee decided to focus the conference and invite presentations on a number of specific topics in the field of alcohol SBI and these are listed here followed by a discussion of other areas in which new ground needs to be broken.[Heather N. Breaking new ground in the study and practice of alcohol brief interventions. Drug Alcohol Rev 2010;29;584–588]