The Blue Light Project

The Blue Light project is an initiative to develop alternative approaches and care pathways for drinkers who are not in contact with treatment services, but who have complex needs.

It challenges the belief that only drinkers who show clear motivation to change can be helped, and sets out positive strategies that can be used with this client group.

The Blue Light manual sets out these strategies in detail and offers a fundamental positive message that change is possible. It contains:

  • Tools for understanding why individuals may not engage
  • Risk assessment tools which are appropriate for drinkers
  • Harm reduction techniques workers can use
  • Advice on crucial nutritional approaches which can reduce alcohol-related harm
  • Questions to help non-clinicians identify where individuals may be at risk of serious health problems
  • Management frameworks
  • Guidance on legal frameworks

The Blue Light approach is that, while we may not always be able to make someone change completely, we can help reduce harm and manage the risk they pose to themselves and others.

About the project

Blue Light began as a co-production involving 23 local authorities. Local staff and service users in each area contributed expertise to the development. The Blue Light approach has now been adopted by a large number of local authorities across England and Wales.

At the heart of Blue Light is a manual, supported by training and help in establishing multi-agency partnerships. The Blue Light manual - developed by our predecessor organisation Alcohol Concern - sets out the key principles and contains a range of advice and tools for working with clients who are not in contact with services. Our training supports professionals in applying these principles and tools, and helps local areas set up the multi-partner forums and protocols needed to embed the programme.

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Evaluations and reports