Alcohol misuse: The need to take a preventative approach
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Consuming alcohol within moderate and recommended amounts can have its benefits. These include: social inclusion, socialising, positive impacts it can have on providing employment and to the economy. However, not all people drink in moderation. Alcohol misuse (AM) is increasingly becoming a cause for concern in public health, medical reports and criminal justice systems. Reports and strategies continue to highlight the risks and dangers that AM poses for those who engage in harmful drinking. Alongside the risks to the individual, other costs include discord within families and society and further financial pressure on healthcare systems. However, often AM does not come to the attention of health practitioners until it is in its advanced stages, yet it is preventable and is an issue that impacts all age groups from children to older people. Community nurses can play a pivotal, proactive and preventative role in detecting and offering information and brief advice for those in their care. Though this may be challenging and requires innovative thinking in identifying the most suitable approaches to best match the needs of their patients, it is an issue that can be prevented and have untold benefits for individuals, families and societies.