Reducing harm caused by alcohol

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Alcohol-specific deaths 2018

According to data from the National Records of Scotland release today there were 1,136 alcohol-specific deaths in 2018. This was an increase of 16 (1%) compared with the previous year, and more than in six of the previous seven years (only 2016, with 1,139, was higher). However, the total for 2018 was lower than in every year from 2000 to 2010, inclusive.

The data for 2018 includes four month pre-minimum unit pricing and eight months post.

In repsonse to the figures Alison Douglas said, “It is early days for minimum unit pricing and it is a preventative policy whose impact on harm will build over time. The figures published today cover four months pre-minimum unit pricing and eight months post and are well within the range of the year-to-year fluctuations that have been seen in many previous years.

“Last week’s data which showed that consumption had reduced by 3% in 2018 gives us cause for optimism that MUP appears to be having an effect on consumption and this should translate into improvements in health and well-being going forward.

“However, everyone agrees that while price is an important part of the jigsaw it is not the only factor which affects how much we drink as a nation. Given the very high levels of consumption and associated problems in Scotland we need to redouble our efforts to turn the tide of alcohol related harm.  Action to control availability and restrict marketing are also required if we are to change Scotland’s relationship with alcohol for good.”

Read more on the National Records of Scotland website.