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- Alcohol and the Workplace Effective Interventions
- Alcohol sales and consumption in Scotland during the pandemic
- Invitation to Tender - Alcohol Marketing Evidence Review
- How can we prevent alcohol deaths?
- Alcohol Deaths and Minimum Unit Pricing
- Young Scots show support for restrictions on alcohol marketing
- YoungScot Health Panel report on alcohol marketing and harm
- New release of alcohol related hospital admissions
- Better alcohol labelling – A way to boost awareness of the risk between alcohol and cancer?
- Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support
- Almost half of Scots in favour of minimum unit pricing
- NICE Guidelines on FASD Surveillance or Support?
- Leading health charities call for action in Scotland
- Health experts campaign for better understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- Health experts call for alcohol labelling overhaul
- Survey shows Scots lockdown drinking rise caused by stress
- Alcohol Focus Scotland welcomes new WHO report on alcohol pricing
- Statistical analysis of off-trade alcohol sales in the year following MUP
- Alcohol Focus Scotland Review of statements of licensing policy 2018 to 2023
- Scotland needs to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- We need to continue long-term focus on alcohol
- Scots report changing drinking patterns during coronavirus lockdown
- Time to Blow the Whistle on Alcohol Sport Sponsorship
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- New evidence demonstrates that alcohol ads lead to youth drinking
- Alcohol sales fall in first year of MUP
- First study published into under 18 drinkers post MUP
- Commission on Alcohol Harm calls for evidence
- Two years on Are annual functions reports reaching their potential?
- We need to do more to protect our children and young people
- Alcohol related hospital admissions for 2018 to 2019
- Hitting the right note in training
- Minimum unit pricing update
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- New Alcohol Deaths Prevention Support Now Available from AFS
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- Making a bad impression - blog post
- Alcohol sales and MUP
- Alcohol-specific deaths 2018
- Five tips for upping the engagement factor
- Alcohol marketing and children debate in the Scottish Parliament
- Lowest alcohol sales in 25 years
- Research into fall in violence
- The Children's Parliament investigates an alcohol-free childhood
- Five tips for training delivery nerves
- Minimum unit pricing one year on
- More about sales data
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- AFS publish Review of Licensing Board Annual Functions Reports 2017-2018
- Marketing unmasked dispelling the myths and taking a stand
- No place for alcohol marketing in sport
- Five pitfalls to avoid in evaluating training
- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
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- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
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- Drinks companies keeping consumers in dark about risky drinking
- Reducing alcohol consumption can address health inequalities
- Alcohol-specific deaths remain at very high levels
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- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
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- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
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- Q&A on alcohol marketing
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- Alcohol producers failing to inform public
- Concern over alcohol-related deaths
- We need to make it easier for people to drink less
- Worrying rise in alcohol-related deaths
- Minimum pricing will save lives
- Pocket money prices for alcohol continue
- Scotland's alcohol problem laid bare
- Cheap alcohol is costing Scotland dear
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- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
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- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- Alcohol: a global concern
Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
The majority of ambulance staff have been assaulted when responding to incidents involving alcohol and it is a factor in more than half of all ambulance responses at the weekend.
The Scottish Ambulance Service, in partnership with Alcohol Focus Scotland, conducted a survey of frontline ambulance crews and 999 call handlers to show the effect that alcohol has on the service.
More than 600 staff responded, with two thirds of them (62%) saying that they have been physically assaulted by members of the public who have had too much to drink. Three quarters (76%) of staff experience verbal abuse in these situations.
Staff said that more than half of callouts they deal with at weekends are alcohol-related. During weekdays, one in six incidents (17%) involve alcohol, rising to almost half (42%) on weekday nights.
A quarter of responses to slips, trips or falls are alcohol-related and it is seen to be a factor in almost half of responses to assaults.
Pauline Howie, Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service said:
"Alcohol has a significant impact on ambulance operations across all of Scotland. It is no longer a weekend phenomenon as crews have to respond to alcohol-related calls every day of the week, taking resources away from those who need us most.
"The survey reveals the burden that alcohol puts on ambulance staff across the country. They are highly trained emergency clinicians and are frustrated that so much of their time is spent dealing with patients who are intoxicated. On top of that they have to deal with the violence and aggression that goes so often with alcohol misuse.
"Our frontline staff should not have to fear for their own safety when treating patients, yet alcohol is all too often a key factor in assaults. Staff respond to patients in all weathers and situations and deserve the public's respect for the high quality care that they provide. Assaults or threatening behaviour are reported to the police and staff have access to support and counselling services.
"There is also a wide impact on our operations as precious resources have to be taken off the road to be cleaned after an intoxicated patient has been sick, which takes time and removes an ambulance that could be available to respond to a medical emergency.
"As festive parties get into full flow this week we would ask people to drink responsibly and avoid becoming an additional patient for the NHS to treat."
Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:
"The impact of alcohol on the Scottish Ambulance Service is completely unacceptable and unsustainable. Christmas and New Year is a particularly busy time for call outs, but mopping up the mess caused by excessive drinking is something that ambulance crews do day in, day out. It is appalling that ambulance staff are regularly subjected to verbal and physical abuse from drunk patients and bystanders.
"Encouraging individuals to drink less is difficult when we are surrounded by cheap alcohol that is constantly promoted as an everyday product. Addressing the affordability of alcohol through minimum unit pricing is an effective way to protect vulnerable citizens, create safer communities and support emergency services."