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Pharmacists: we can support people with alcohol issues

June 26, 2019 / ROZ GITTINS

The pharmacy profession is very good at talking to people about their medicines and, as experts in medicines, we keep up to speed with the latest guidance and evidence. Despite working through challenging climates, we aspire to be as holistic and patient-centred as possible. Alcohol dependency is a drain on healthcare resources and has wider socioeconomic consequences. Millions of people across the UK have personal experience of this issue. It is estimated that four out of five dependent drinkers are not in treatment. People affected are stigmatised, can be vulnerable, have often experienced trauma and frequently present with other physical and mental health needs. But when a patient uses alcohol, what do we do?