The National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) are advising GPs to routinely quiz new patients about their drinking when they join a surgery.
Doctors are also being told to ask patients about how much alcohol they consume when medicines are being reviewed and when they are being treated for minor injuries.
The latest scaremongering information is that one in four people - a total of 10 million - is estimated to be putting their health at risk by drinking more alcohol than the recommended limits. These are the limits which a department of health interdepartmental group of officials had to admit that the limitations of the knowledge on which advice was offered to the public should be recognised.
The co-founder of campaign group Patient Concern said: "GPs seem to have to ask so many things that there is none (no time) left for what you went in about."
This is further step towards an increase in the tax on alcohol. Will a price increase make a difference to the health of those who drink in excess? No. But it will make a difference to the manufacturers' profits and of course the Treasury's coffers.
Hence the guidelines from NICE.