- Alcohol and COVID19
- Alcohol facts and figures
- Local Alcohol Profiles
- Alcohol and health
- Drinking too much?
- Find an alcohol service
- Alcohol and young people
- Alcohol and older people
- Alcohol and pregnancy
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Scotland
- Drink and the driver
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Alcohol facts and figures
Alcohol consumption in Scotland - from Scottish Health Survey 2021
- Around 1 in 4 people (23%) drink at hazardous or harmful levels (defined as drinking more than 14 units per week).
- Drinking more than 14 units a week was reported by 31% of men and 16% of women.
- Men drink an average of 14.8 units of alcohol a week, and women drink an average of 8.0 units a week.
- 16% of people say they are non-drinkers.
- Among all children in 2017/2019 combined 17% were living with at least one parent who exhibited hazardous, harmful drinking behaviour or had a possible alcohol dependence (AUDIT score of 8 or more)
Alcohol-related deaths in Scotland - from National Records of Scotland 2023
- There were 1,276 alcohol-specific deaths in 2022 (where alcohol was the underlying cause of death) - an increase of 2% (31 deaths) on 2021, and an increase of 25% (256 deaths) on 2019.
- In 2022, 836 of the alcohol-specific deaths were men, 440 were women.
- Males have generally tended to make up around two thirds of alcohol specific deaths in Scotland in recent years.
- Female deaths increased by 31 to 440, with the number of alcohol-specific male deaths unchanged at 836.
- Alcohol-specific death rates in the most deprived areas were 4.3 times more than those in the least deprived areas.
- The mortality rates for the age 45-64 and age 65-74 age groups are the highest, and have been the highest since the data was first available.
Alcohol-related hospital stays in Scotland - from Alcohol-related Hospital Statistics Scotland 2021/22
- There were 35,187 alcohol-related hospital admissions (stays) in Scotland in 2021/22.
- 21,840 Scottish residents had at least one admission to hospital with an alcohol-related condition.
- Men were 2.3 times more likely than women to be admitted to general hospitals for alcohol-related conditions (856 compared to 365 per 100,000 population).
- Rates were 6 times higher for people living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived (991 compared to 153 per 100,000 population).
Alcohol and inequalities
- Alcohol-specific death rates in the most deprived areas were 4.3 times more than those in the least deprived areas. (from National Records of Scotland).
- Alcohol-related hospital stays are 6 times higher in Scotland’s poorest communities than the most affluent (from Alcohol-related Hospital Statistics Scotland 2021/22).
- In 2019, the highest proportion of adult nondrinkers was in the most deprived areas and the lowest was in the least deprived areas (From The Scottish Health Survey 2019).
- 17% of people living in our most deprived areas drink above the weekly low-risk guidelines of 14 units (compared to 30% in the most affluent areas) (From The Scottish Health Survey 2019)
- Of those drinking above the weekly low-risk guidelines, people in the most deprived areas drink more units per week (From The Scottish Health Survey 2018).
Contribution of alcohol to ill health in Scotland - from NHS Report: Burden of Disease Attributable to Alcohol Consumption
- Alcohol was a factor in 3,705 deaths in Scotland in 2015.
- One in four alcohol deaths (1,048) was from cancer, 544 deaths were from heart conditions and strokes, and 357 deaths were from unintentional injuries eg falls.
- This means that 6.5% or around 1 in 15 of the deaths for the whole of Scotland in 2015 (57,327), were caused by alcohol.
- At least 41,161 patients were admitted to hospital due to alcohol in 2015 including 11,068 due to unintentional injuries, 8,509 due to mental ill health and behavioural disorders and 4,291 due to liver disease and pancreatitis.
Note: These statistics report on the extent to which alcohol contributes to ill health and admissions to hospital in Scotland. The statistics above on alcohol deaths and hospital admissions use a narrower definition, reporting mostly on conditions that are only caused by alcohol.
Attitudes to alcohol in Scotland - from Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2013
- 84% of Scots thought alcohol causes either a 'great deal' or 'quite a lot of harm in Scotland'.
- Most people disapprove of excessive drinking - only 19% thought that 'getting drunk is a perfectly acceptable thing to do on weekends'.
- Over four in ten (44%) non-drinkers perceived that others think they are odd for not drinking.
- Around half of Scots did not know the number of units in a pint of beer, measure of spirits or a glass of wine.
Alcohol-related GP consultations in Scotland - from ScotPHO
- There were an estimated 94,630 alcohol-related primary care consultations by 48,420 patients in 2012/13.
- Consultation rates were highest for those aged 65 and over.
Alcohol-related trauma in Scotland - from STAG Trauma Annual Report 2015
- Alcohol is associated with 33% of major trauma patients and 25% of all trauma patients.
- Involvement of alcohol is nearly twice as common in male trauma patients.
Alcohol-related crime in Scotland
- 44% of violent crime is alcohol-related.(from Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019/20).
- In relation to all incidents of violent crime in 2017/18, victims reported having consumed alcohol immediately before the incident in 20% of cases (from Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2019/20).
- 15 of the 77 (19%) persons accused in homicide cases in 2016-17 were under the influence of alcohol (from Homicide in Scotland 2016-17).
- Of the 65 persons accused in homicide cases in 2020-21, 40 (62%) were reported to have been under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of both at the time (Homicides in Scotland 2020/21)
- Two in five (41%) of prisoners report being drunk at the time of their offence (from Prisoner Survey 2015)
- 60% of young of young offenders were drunk at the time of their offence (from Prisoners Survey 2015 - Young People in Custody).
Cost of alcohol harm - from The Societal Cost of Alcohol Misuse in Scotland for 2007
- Alcohol harm costs Scotland £3.6 billion a year in health, social care, crime, productive capacity and wider costs.
- Alcohol costs the health service in Scotland £267 million a year.
- The cost of alcohol-related crime is £727 million a year.
- Alcohol costs every local authority area in Scotland millions of pounds a year - see our local alcohol cost profiles in the Resources section.