This presentation will explore the role of social and personal stigma associated with alcohol and how stigma influences a person’s decision of how and when to access healthcare. There will be a discussion about how stigma affects the healthcare workers too, acknowledging that they may experience embarrassment, frustration and even anger towards the patient. The influence of stigma connected to comorbidities (eg. older age or mental health issues and alcohol), is also an important factor and how this impacts on individuals accepting treatment. The idea of stigma begs the question, can an individual change their behaviour or do we accept that a harm reduction approach is considered an adequate and successful intervention?