Press Release

Minister Martin Announces £75,000 for Pilot Project for Treatment of Alcohol Problems in General Practice

The Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin, is happy to announce that he will be providing funding of £75,000 (€95,000) for a pilot project to improve the detection rate and treatment of alcohol problems in general practice.

This initiative arises out of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) project, “Helping Patients with Alcohol Problems” which commenced in March 2000 and will run for three years. The ICGP has formally proposed that a pilot study be carried out to develop the concept of the “Alcohol Aware Practice”. Within the Alcohol Aware practice, all relevant staff will be fully aware of all aspects of helping patients with alcohol problems and will be trained in a number of areas, including:

  • screening techniques; questionnaires and blood tests,
  • information on safe weekly limits,
  • the use of support materials,
  • assessment techniques to deal effectively with the increasing problem of alcohol abuse,
  • treatment methods including detoxification protocols and referral procedures.

“We, as a society, are reluctant to accept that alcohol use carries a risk, partly because it challenges all of us who drink. The medical profession in Ireland can play an important role in emphasising the potential dangers of alcohol consumption if taken in excess,” said the Minster.

He commended the ICGP for playing a part in fostering a greater understanding of alcohol-related problems in Ireland.