Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the most important lifestyle factors affecting the disease burden in the Western world. The results of treatment in daily practice are modest at best. The aim of the RESCueH programme is to develop and evaluate methods, which are as practice-near as possible, and therefore can be implemented quickly and easily in everyday clinical practice. It is the first clinical alcohol programme to be transatlantic in scope, with implementation in treatment centers located in Denmark, Germany and the US. The RESCueH programme comprises 5 randomized controlled trials, and the studies can be expected to result in (1) more patients starting treatment in specialized outpatient clinics, (2) a greater number of elderly patients being treated, (3) increased patient motivation for treatment and thus improved adherence, (4) more patients with stable positive outcomes after treatment and (5) fewer patients relapsing into harmful drinking. The aim of this paper is to discuss the rationale for the RESCueH programme, to present the studies and expected results.