During the Sixty-third session of the World Health Assembly, held in Geneva in May 2010, the 193 Member States of WHO reached an historical consensus on a global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by adopted resolution WHA63.13. The adopted resolution and endorsed strategy gives guidance to both Member States and to the WHO Secretariat on ways to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
This manual introduces the ASSIST test and describes how to use it in health care settings - particularly community based primary health care settings – to identify people who are using substances and assess the health risks associated with substance use, so that a brief discussion or a referral to specialist centre can be provided as appropriate.
Screening for alcohol consumption among patients in primary care carries many potential benefits. The AUDIT was developed as a simple method of screening for excessive drinking and to assist in brief assessment. Alongside with the companion publication on the AUDIT, WHO has also produced a manual to aid primary health care workers in administering brief interventions.