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Home > Brief intervention: The ASSIST-linked brief intervention for hazardous and harmful substance use.

Humeniuk, Rachel and Henry Edwards, S and Ali, Robert and Poznyak, Vladimir and Monteiro, Maristela G (2010) Brief intervention: The ASSIST-linked brief intervention for hazardous and harmful substance use. Geneva: World Health Organization.

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This manual is a companion to ‘The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST): manual for use in primary care’ 1 and is based on ‘Brief Intervention for Substance Use: Guidelines for Use in Primary
Care. Draft Version 1.1 for Field Testing’2. The purpose of this manual is to explain the theoretical basis and evidence for the effectiveness of brief interventions and to assist primary health care workers in conducting a simple brief intervention for clients whose substance use is putting them at risk. Together with the companion manual 1, this manual presents a comprehensive approach to screening and brief intervention which is tailored to the specific circumstances of primary care and is designed to improve the health of populations and client groups as well as of individuals.

This manual describes:
• the rationale for brief intervention in primary care;
• a model of behaviour change;
• the components of brief interventions that work;
• principles of motivational interviewing and essential skills;
• how to link the ASSIST screening procedure with a brief intervention;
• how to give feedback to clients;
• how to conduct brief intervention for people at moderate risk;
• examples of ASSIST-linked brief interventions;
• how to help clients who inject drugs;
• how to address multiple substance use;
• how to give longer or recurrent interventions.

Although the manual is particularly aimed at primary health care workers, it may also be useful for others who work with high-risk clients or clients who are more likely to engage in drug use such as hospital physicians and nurses, midwives and obstetricians, social workers, prison workers and community correction workers.


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