Young people are at elevated risk of the acute harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Binge drinking in young people is associated with increased rates of violence, sexual assault, drug use and trauma.
Traditional interventions relying on feedback on units and health risk are often ineffective in younger people (De Visser and Birch, 2012). Approaches such as the Drinks Meter which adopt a range of novel assessment and feedback features beyond traditional feedback have been developed with a focus on engaging younger people and use technology that is familiar to them.
Digital interventions thus offer advantages over face to face interventions because of their potential to reach large numbers of young people relatively cheaply (Kaner et al., 2015).
Drinksmeter and Hospitals/Emergency Departments
There is a strong evidence base for the delivery of IBA in hospital-based settings with Accident and Emergency, hospital inpatient and outpatient services all being potential points of delivery (Nilsen et al 2008, Drummond et al 2014, Cunningham et al 2012).
The Drinks Meter was developed in response to identifying competing clinical priorities, limited time and resources as barriers to successful implementation of IBA in these clinical settings (Thom et al 2014).
The Drinks Meter tool can be offered to all patients (perhaps delivered with the support of health care assistants) waiting for their appointment or it can be targeted to specific at-risk groups, such as those attending with maxillofacial injuries, fractures, self-harm and other mental health problems, liver disease and GI bleeds, and those with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.