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- 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
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- Minimum unit pricing one year on
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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
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- Scotland publishes first UK guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)
- The Alcohol Framework 2018 Preventing Harm
- Scotlands new drug and alcohol strategy launched
- AFS welcome new alcohol strategy
- Recent reporting on alcohol sales data
- Cross-Party Group Improving Scotland's health: 2021 and beyond October 2018
- Diageo is failing to provide latest guidelines on their products
- 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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- Global first alcohol policy set to save hundreds of Scots' lives
- AFS welcomes minimum unit pricing for alcohol
- Walker's crisp ad exposes children to alcohol marketing
- Truer picture of alcohol harm revealed
- Focus on link between alcohol and obesity
- Alcohol causes 3,700 deaths in Scotland every year
- Last Christmas for heavily discounted alcohol
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- Minimum pricing blog
- Minimum pricing gets green light
- Reflections on GAPC 2017
- Alcohol brands and young people
- Time for honest conversations about alcohol
- 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
- One drink a day can increase breast cancer risk
- Poverty linked to increased harm from alcohol
- What next for reducing alcohol harm in Scotland?
- Scotland must do more to turn tide of alcohol harm
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- Consumers have the right to know health risks
- Chancellor urged to tackle cheap, strong cider in Budget
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- Half of alcohol being sold under 50p per unit
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- Minimum pricing can be implemented in Scotland
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- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
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- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- 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."