Service aims to make beating bottle easy as ABC

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GLASGOW’S problem drinkers are set to benefit from a new NHS service aimed at helping those struggling to tackle the disease.

The Alcohol Behaviour Change scheme has been introduced to tackle issues with dependence on the bottle before it causes health problems, in a bid to alleviate pressure on NHS services.

Glasgow suffers from the highest alcohol-related hospital admissions rate in Scotland and in 2011, the cost of alcohol harm to the health service in the city was £40.17 
million.

Currently, just one in 10 patients diagnosed by doctors as having alcohol-related problems are being treated.

The new service means that GPs can refer patients, who will then be contacted by phone or email and offered help.

John Goldie, head of addiction services for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said:”If we can reduce the contact with treatment services, that’s best for us.

“We would like to see people having a healthy relationship with alcohol which means they don’t have to be in contact with services a number of years down the line.”

Meanwhile, a study by online clinic HealthExpress identified Glasgow as a hotspot for sexually transmitted infections.

Analysis of the site showed the city had the most people looking for advice about symptoms of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and herpes than elsewhere in the country.