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Employers should help prevent misuse of alcohol by employees

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 07 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6590

Re: Employers should help prevent misuse of alcohol by employees


I agree with the author that the utilisation of alcohol Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) in the workplace could well help to address increasing levels of "at risk" drinking in the UK.

The extent to which any given organisations 'drinking culture' might impede or promote such activity is less certain. We are aware that within our own sector that alcohol use might well influence the implementation of IBA activity (1), and as such work based programmes could be beneficial to staff and public alike.

Clearly there is a duty of care amongst employers that could be extended beyond the workplace. The provision of help and advice regarding alcohol consumption can reduce levels of both consumption and harm. Considering the costs due to alcohol related loss of productivity, this can only be a good thing for UK PLC.


(1) Huntley, J. S., Patton, R., & Touquet, R. (2004). Attitudes towards alcohol of emergency department doctors trained in the detection of alcohol misuse. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 86(5), 329-333.

Competing interests: No competing interests

08 November 2013
Robert Patton
King's College London
Windsor Walk, London, SE5 8BB