NHS Health Scotland
Outcome Indicators


c. Evidence for building capacity, availability and quality of services (young people)

No evidence of effective interventions currently available from defined sources.

NICE Public Health Guidelines 024 Recommendations:

  1. Use professional judgement to routinely assess the ability of these children and young people to consent to alcohol-related interventions and treatment. Some will require parental or carer involvement.

  2. Obtain a detailed history of their alcohol use (for example, using the Common Assessment Framework as a guide). Include background factors such as family problems and instances of child abuse or under-achievement at school.

  3. Use professional judgement to decide on the appropriate course of action. In some cases, it may be sufficient to empathise and give an opinion about the significance of their drinking and other related issues that may arise. In other cases, more intensive counselling and support may be needed.

  4. If there is a reason to believe that there is a significant risk of alcohol-related harm, consider referral to child and adolescent mental health services, social care or to young people’s alcohol services for treatment, as appropriate and available.

  5. Ensure discussions are sensitive to the child or young person’s age and their ability to understand what is involved, their emotional maturity, culture, faith and beliefs. The discussions (and tools used) should also take into account their particular needs (health and social) and be appropriate to the setting.

Scottish policy note

Building capacity, availability and quality of support services for those affected by parental substance misuse cited as an action in the recent alcohol policy framework; ‘Changing Scotland's Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action’ (2009) and also highlighted in the new drugs strategy, ‘The Road to Recovery’ (2008). The drugs strategy outlines actions to improve identification, assessment, recording and planning, and information sharing; to build the capacity, availability and quality of support services; and to strengthen the consistency and effectiveness of immediate risk management. A Project Board has been convened to drive forward progress on this agenda, involving relevant Scottish Government and COSLA officials and third sector service delivery organisations and in addition drawing on the skills of individual experts in the sector.


NICE PHG024. Alcohol-use disorders: preventing the development of hazardous and harmful drinking. National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence.