Reducing harm caused by alcohol

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Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths

Figures published today by National Records of Scotland show 1,265 people died because of alcohol last year; a 10% increase on the previous year.

This is the highest annual total since 2010, and the third largest annual increase in numbers. The 1,265 alcohol-related deaths in 2016 consisted of 867 male deaths and 398 female deaths.

Alcohol-related deaths 2016

Comment from Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland

"It is tragic that 1,265 men and women in Scotland died because of alcohol last year; a 10% increase on the previous year. Behind these appalling statistics are real people - sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, friends and colleagues – who have died too young because of a substance that’s cheap, widely available and constantly promoted.

"Alcohol-related deaths are preventable. Increasing the price of the cheapest, strongest drinks through minimum unit pricing will reduce consumption and save hundreds of people’s lives, particularly those living in our poorest communities. As well as minimum pricing, we need to see bold and proportionate action from the Scottish Government in its forthcoming alcohol strategy. This must focus on reducing the widespread availability and marketing of alcohol to make it easier for people to drink less."