Alcohol and drug misuse prevention and treatment guidance

Information and other resources to support commissioners, service providers and others providing alcohol and drug interventions.

Healthcare professionals can use these guidance documents, information and resources to help with providing and improving alcohol and drug misuse prevention and treatment services.

Visit Preventing and reducing drug related harm for information and other resources to support alcohol and drug service providers reduce harm and prevent deaths related to substance misuse.

Visit Alcohol and drugs evidence reviews and inquiries for reports on evidence reviews and the outcomes of inquiries around substance misuse, smoking and vaping, and gambling.

Visit Public health in prisons and secure settings for guidance and resources on alcohol and drug treatment in prisons and secure settings.

Visit Alcohol and drug misuse and treatment statistics for reports and datasets on the prevalence and treatment of alcohol and drug misuse treatment in England.

Alcohol and drug treatment guidance

Guidance for commissioners

Drug and alcohol screening and treatment tools

Public Health England (PHE) has made available the NHS alcohol brief advice tool and cannabis health check-up tool.

These brief advice tools should be used by health and social care professionals with people whose alcohol or cannabis use is identified as ‘increasing’ or ‘higher risk’ by the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Tool-Lite (ASSIST-Lite) risk identification tool.

Guidance for health and care professionals

Substance misuse and mental health

Alcohol and tobacco use in hospital patients

Professional roles in alcohol and drug misuse treatment

PHE has published guidance on the role of professionals in alcohol and drug misuse treatment. It has also supported guidance published by others on the role of social workers and the role of clinical psychologists.

Parental substance misuse

Preventing drug and alcohol problems

Service quality improvement

Opioid substitution treatment: good practice resources

PHE’s opioid substitution treatment (OST) good practice programme was established to improve the quality of OST in England. PHE, together with a working group of service providers, commissioners and service user representatives, produced a collection of practical resources to help services better implement existing clinical guidance.

The Best practice in Optimising Opioid Substitution Treatment (BOOST) e-learning programme provides drug treatment and recovery professionals with the information they need to deliver good quality OST to service users. It includes short films showing typical clinical conversations between people who are on OST and their drug treatment and recovery workers.

Published 20 December 2017
Last updated 11 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added new group: Opioid substitution treatment good practice resources.

  2. Added 'Parents with alcohol and drug problems: support resources', 'Opioid substitution treatment: guide for keyworkers' and 'Opioid substitution treatment: service self-assessment tool'.

  3. Added 'Injectable opioid treatment: commissioning and providing services'.

  4. Added some new groups and publications: "COVID-19: guidance for commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs or alcohol", "ASSIST-Lite screening tool: how to use", and links to NHS alcohol brief advice tool and cannabis health check-up tool in "Drug and alcohol screening and treatment tools" section.

  5. Added 'Prescribed medicines review: report'.

  6. Added 'Alcohol's harm to others'.

  7. Added publications to new 'Guidance for health and care professionals' section.

  8. Added case studies to new 'Support for substance misuse and mental health problems' section.

  9. Added 'Crack cocaine increase: inquiry findings'.

  10. Added 'Safeguarding children affected by parental alcohol and drug use'.

  11. Added 'Alcohol treatment inquiry: summary of findings'.

  12. Added Fentanyl: safety recommendations for first responders.

  13. Added Continuity of care for prisoners who need substance misuse treatment.

  14. Added Drug health harms: national intelligence.

  15. Added Developing pathways for alcohol treatment.

  16. Added Parental alcohol and drug use: understanding the problem.

  17. Added 'Fentanyl: preparing for a future threat' to the collection.

  18. Created a new group 'Preventing ill health from alcohol misuse' and added publications.

  19. Added Alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?

  20. First published.